(Image courtesy of FDA)

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the Bay Area are still the highest in Santa Clara County, according to numbers released April 17.

Nearly 1,900 cases and 73 deaths have been reported in Santa Clara County since the outbreak began in December in Wuhan, China.

In all, more than 5,900 cases and 196 deaths from the virus have been reported in the Bay Area.

Here’s how the counties ranked by the number of cases of COVID-19 as of the afternoon of April 17.1. Santa Clara County — 1,8702. Alameda County — 1,0633. San Francisco — 1,0584. San Mateo County — 7975. Contra Costa County — 6486. Marin County — 1877. Sonoma County — 1728. Solano County — 156 9. Napa County — 44Adding to Santa Clara County’s shelter-in-place order aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus, the county’s health officer, Dr. Sara Cody, on Friday strongly urged residents to wear face coverings when they are out running essential errands. 

“We now understand this is one very important prevention tool,” Cody said. 

Much of the spread of the coronavirus is occurring undetected, she said, in part through people who have the virus but no symptoms. County officials said that covering the nose and the mouth is about helping others, especially community members most vulnerable to the virus. 

“It is a critical and urgent recommendation,” Cody said.

Statewide, 27,528 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 985 people have died.

Source: State, Bay Area county public health departments