DELANO,Calif. — On Friday The Kern County Public Health Department confirmed the first COVID-19 related death in Kern County.
Susie Garcia passed away on Friday, at the Delano Regional Medical Center around 3 a.m., according to her family members.
She leaves behind her children and loved ones.
Delano Councilmember, Joe Aguirre, is speaking in public for the first time about Garcia's death.
"This is a tragic loss for our city," said Aguirre. "This is someone’s mom, grandmother, auntie and first of all a community member of our city."
23ABC reached out to the Delano Regional Medical Center and spoke with communication specialist Jamie Hernandez.
Hernandez stated all COVID-19 questions are being handled by the Kern County Public Health Department.
The Health Department is not releasing any background information about the death including the patient's name.
Despite this first death surrounding COVID-19, health officials say they don't plan to change how they inform the public about positive cases, nor the health recommendations for the public.
"We are going to continue to follow the guidelines that we have," said Michelle Corson, of the Kern County Public Health Department.
"Again I say with flu and valley fever and we're going to stay on that path, but we are going to make our public aware of anything they need to know to protect them."
Aguirre says with Delano being the second-largest city in Kern County, he wants to encourage residents to step up and continue to isolate to prevent the spread fo COVID-19.
"We have been treading very carefully not to infringe on people's personal rights, but I think we are beyond that now," said Aguirre. "I think we are going to reevaluate those suggestions in the next week or two, and maybe have to, unfortunately, impose some new rules."