First Coronavirus Death in America Confirmed in Washington State
According to health officials in Washington state, a coronavirus patient has died.
This death marks the first of its kind from the coronavirus illness COVID-19 in the United States.
“It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared in a statement.
On Saturday, February 29, 2020, health officials said that the person who died was a 50-year-old man who had underlying health conditions.
At a White House press conference, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there was “no evidence of link of travel” in explaining how the man was infected by the coronavirus.
As of early Saturday, the United States had 66 documented cases of coronavirus, which includes nine people who have recovered from their cases and four other “presumptive” cases, which are those who tested positive locally with pending CDC confirmations.
Of the new confirmed or presumptive cases, three contracted the disease from an unknown source, which brought the total number of “community spread” cases in America to four.
“Community spread” refers to someone who is infected but the source remains unknown. Much of the previous focus was centered on people who had visited places like Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started, or who were in close contact with people who contracted the virus.