UPDATE: The second coronavirus mortality has reported in Washington state. On Sunday evening health authorities in King County reported that one of six residents with the coronavirus at a nursing home has died.
The nursing home resident with the virus died at the EvergreenHealth Hospital in Kirkland which is also the same facility of the first death. In addition, the hospital is reporting three critical cases with the virus. As a result of the death, one-quarter of Kirkland’s firefighters who were at the nursing home were put in quarantine while a neighboring college underwent a cleansing as some students visited the nursing home.
The numbers of coronavirus cases are starting to increase as New York, Florida and Rhode Island have reported their first cases which have been connected with foreign travel.
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PREVIOUS: The first death from the coronavirus in the US has been recorded today in King County in Washington state.
Jamie Nixon, a public information officer with the Washington State Department of Health, issued a vague report that said a patient in the state has died from the infection. The individual or details of their illness exposure were not immediately provided.
Washington state officials said they will hold a news conference in King County at 4:00 pm ET to discuss the case.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump held a Saturday press conference and reassured the nation that things are being handled
“There’s no reason to panic at all. This is something that is being handled professionally,” Trump said at the White House.
The President said there are 22 patients in the United States who have coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, one person passed away overnight,” Trump said. “She was a wonderful woman a medically high-risk patient in her late 50s. Four others are very ill. Thankfully 15 are either recovered fully or they’re well on their way to recovery. And in all cases, they’ve been let go in their home.
He added: “Additional cases in the United States are likely. But healthy individuals should be able to fully recover.”
Trump said the US will take more actions on travel and vaccine preparedness, and plans to meet with drug companies on Monday to discuss next steps.
“Our country is prepared for any circumstance,” Trump said.
VP Mike Pence, who leads the US government virus response, also announced new travel restrictions, including an expanded ban on travel from Iran. The restrictions would cover anyone who has visited Iran in the last 14 days. He also said Trump authorized the State Department to raise the travel advisory for certain affected areas to Level Four, the highest level.
Americans are urged not to travel to areas in Italy and South Korea most affected by the virus.
The tone today was a sharp contrast with what Trump said at a South Carolina rally on Friday. There, he accused his Democratic critics of “politicizing” the coronavirus outbreak, calling it “their new hoax.”
At least 64 cases have been confirmed in the US, with several new cases reported in California, Oregon and Washington state. The victims there have no known overseas travel or other known exposure to the disease, leading to fears that the virus has gone airborne. There are more than 85,000 confirmed cases worlwide, with at least 2,933 confirmed deaths.
Washington state officials said Friday that a high school student in Snohomish County, near Seattle, had the virus. A woman in her 50s in King County who recently traveled to South Korea was also reported with the disease.