San Benito County reports first death due to COVID-19 

San Benito County Public Information Officer David Westrick provides the news release to media March 17 at 5:07 p.m.

This news release was written by San Benito County Public Information Officer, David Westrick.  It was published in its original form by BenitoLink Staff.

SAN BENITO COUNTY-  [March 17, 5:07 p.m.] San Benito County is announcing the first death from COVID-19 in the county. The person who passed away was an adult male in his 60’s with underlying health conditions and had recently traveled to Thailand. The person died on the morning of March 16, 2020 and was confirmed today to have been infected with COVID-19. San Benito County expresses its sincere condolences to his family and friends. 

“This is a tragic development. San Benito County Public Health Services is working closely with its healthcare and community partners to take the necessary steps to slow down the spread of the disease and to protect those at greatest risk,” said Dr. Martin Fenstersheib, Health Officer for San Benito County. “Our top priority continues to be protecting the health of our community.” 

It is critical that individuals and organizations follow the shelter in place order announced earlier today to slow the spread of the virus. 

San Benito County Public Health Services continues to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of California Department of Public Health, and other partners as the COVID-19 situation continues to change. 

Stay informed. For more information on COVID-19, see the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at and visit the San Benito County Public Health Services website for updated local information at 


BenitoLink Staff