California’s Alpine County records its 1st COVID death 18 months into pandemic

California
The Markleeville General Store is seen in June 2014 in Alpine County.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Markleeville General Store is seen in June 2014 in Alpine County.(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Alpine County, sparsely populated and tucked into the Sierra Nevada, has no hospitals, no ventilators and no ICU beds. Until last week, California’s least-populous county also had no COVID-19-related deaths.

But that changed Tuesday when the county, California’s smallest, reported its first death attributed to the novel coronavirus, which has now infected more than 4.7 million Californians and killed 69,000 statewide.

The individual was fully vaccinated, older than 65 and “seriously immunocompromised,” according to officials from the Alpine County health department, who are not releasing additional information about the case because of privacy concerns.

Of Alpine County’s 1,100 residents, 69.5% are fully vaccinated, according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker. It has the highest vaccination rate of any California county outside the San Francisco Bay Area. As of Thursday, the vaccination rate statewide is 66.6%.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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