First coronavirus death in US may be one of growing number of cases from an unknown source, official says

Officials in Washington discuss the first death from coronavirus in the United States.

Posted: Mar 1, 2020 4:40 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2020 4:40 PM

The United States reacted Sunday to the first reported US death from coronavirus with tighter travel restrictions and predictions of more infections and fatalities.

President Trump tweeted about new screening procedures for people arriving from certain "high-risk countries." Vice President Mike Pence said more US deaths are possible but added most Americans should not worry.

New York University doctors and other experts say the US probably has more cases than identified officially. That's because of testing delays and the virus' ability to spread before an infected person shows any symptoms. The New York Times reported Sunday the virus might have been in Washington state for weeks and up to 1,500 people might be infected there.

All this followed official warnings last week that the virus would begin spreading in US communities.

No clear source of infection

The first US death, announced Saturday, added to a growing list of infections circulating in communities without any clear source.

Of the 86,500 cases confirmed globally, at least 2,976 have been fatal -- 2,870 of which were in China. The US has reached at least 74 confirmed cases of the virus, according to counts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health authorities.

Several of those cases are believed to have been spread person-to-person with unknown origins, including the patient in Washington state who died, said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC.

The patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, according to Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County, Washington.

Two cases in Washington announced Saturday are affiliated with Life Care Center, a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, Duchin said.

More than 50 residents and staff at the facility are experiencing symptoms and will be tested for coronavirus, Duchin said. "We're in the process of investigating this situation as an outbreak," he told reporters Saturday.

The facility said in a statement it's not allowing visits from families, volunteers or vendors, and admissions have been placed on hold for the time being. "We take the event very seriously," a statement from the facility's executive director said, in part.

But residents and staff weren't the only ones impacted.

At least 25 firefighters and two police officers who responded to the Life Care Center have now been placed under quarantine "out of an abundance of caution," according to a statement from the City of Kirkland. Firefighters are either under quarantine at home or at a Kirkland fire station, the statement said.

There were also concerns that 16 nursing students and a faculty member from Lake Washington Institute of Technology were exposed to the virus after visiting the center late last week, the school said in a statement. The campus will be closed Monday and Tuesday to be cleaned and disinfected.

But US officials have urged Americans not to panic.

"It's important to remember," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, "for the vast majority of individuals who contract the novel coronavirus, they will experience mild to moderate symptoms, and their treatment will be to remain at home, treating their symptoms, the way they would a severe cold, or the flu."

74 US cases

Of the 74 confirmed or presumptive positive cases in the US, 44 people were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people were repatriated from China and 27 cases were detected in the US, according to health officials.

Presumptive positives mean tests in state or local labs came back positive but have not yet been confirmed by the CDC.

At least 13 cases in the US are travel-related and at least 10 are linked to person-to-person spread, according to the CDC. Several are of unknown origin.

The Rhode Island Department of Health announced the state's first presumptive positive case on Sunday morning. The patient was said to be in their 40s and had in mid-February traveled in Europe, including Italy, where there were 1,694 cases as of Sunday.

The Rhode Island patient is being treated at an undisclosed hospital, and officials are reaching out to people who has had direct contact with the individual, the state Department of Health said in a statement. The patient has had limited travel within the state and hasn't been to work since returning from Italy.

Two more presumptive positive cases were announced in Washington state on Sunday, bringing the state's total number of cases to 8. Both of the new patients were men in their 60s with underlying health conditions, public health officials with Seattle and King County said in a news release. The county now has six cases of coronavirus.

One is hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton and is in critical but stable condition, the news release said. The other is at Virginia Mason Medical Center in critical condition.

Neither case was linked to Life Care Center in Kirkland, a spokeswoman for the Washington Health Department told CNN.

Nike said it was deep cleaning its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, after health authorities confirmed a case in Washington County.

The Oregon case was announced Friday and is believed to be a case of person-to-person transmission. The individual is a presumptive positive and is in isolation.

"While we have no information indicating any exposure to Nike employees, out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a deep cleaning of campus," Nike said in a statement to CNN. "All WHQ buildings and facilities, including fitness centers, will be closed over the weekend."

Pence says more deaths 'possible' but risk is low

Pence told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that it is "possible" more Americans will die.

"But the American people should know the risk for the average American remains low," Pence said.

Pence said federal officials are addressing the lack of testing kits in the US.

The vice president said Saturday the administration is expanding existing travel restrictions on Iran to include foreign nationals who had visited Iran in the last 14 days. The US will also increase travel advisories for Italy and South Korea to Level 4 -- the highest level -- advising Americans not to travel to specific regions in those countries.

On Sunday, Trump announced in a tweet that people will be screened for coronavirus upon arriving in the US if they are traveling from "high-risk countries."

Katie Miller, a spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence, clarified to CNN what is covered under the screening measures Trump mentioned in his tweet:

"There is already screening for those coming into the United States for those who have been in China in the last 14 days. This will be expanded to Italy and South Korea. Additionally, we are currently working on exit screening from South Korea, Italy, and other European nations as needed," Miller said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 116549

Reported Deaths: 3577
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21322766
Lake10566323
Elkhart6623111
St. Joseph6488109
Allen6244203
Hamilton4893109
Vanderburgh365231
Hendricks2741123
Monroe259836
Tippecanoe248313
Johnson2328124
Clark222757
Porter215447
Delaware196062
Cass19509
Vigo183527
Madison167075
LaPorte144440
Floyd137063
Warrick133039
Howard131363
Kosciusko121817
Bartholomew117057
Marshall100724
Boone98146
Dubois97919
Hancock93043
Grant92534
Noble91532
Henry80326
Wayne76114
Jackson7589
Morgan72438
Shelby67429
Daviess67228
Dearborn66428
LaGrange63811
Clinton60214
Harrison58224
Putnam57912
Gibson5225
Knox5179
Lawrence51229
Montgomery51121
White48614
DeKalb48311
Decatur45839
Miami4363
Greene42635
Fayette42213
Jasper3962
Steuben3857
Scott37711
Sullivan33712
Posey3350
Jennings31412
Franklin30925
Clay3015
Ripley2988
Orange28824
Whitley2766
Carroll27513
Wabash2688
Adams2663
Washington2661
Starke2647
Wells2634
Jefferson2483
Spencer2463
Fulton2412
Huntington2363
Tipton22722
Perry21913
Randolph2167
Jay1850
Newton17311
Owen1691
Martin1660
Rush1554
Pike1511
Vermillion1300
Fountain1272
Blackford1193
Pulaski1131
Crawford1070
Brown1043
Parke1002
Benton870
Union790
Ohio787
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 150009

Reported Deaths: 4740
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26872607
Cuyahoga17437656
Hamilton13158315
Montgomery7809163
Lucas7303364
Butler6022111
Summit5304252
Marion309647
Warren308349
Mahoning3065281
Stark2872175
Pickaway265344
Lorain231186
Delaware225920
Fairfield210553
Columbiana193180
Licking192763
Trumbull1888132
Wood186672
Clark179940
Clermont172523
Lake162851
Medina146739
Greene145332
Allen143769
Miami143651
Portage113966
Mercer112218
Erie94347
Tuscarawas93120
Wayne93168
Richland88819
Ross88424
Madison82312
Darke79942
Belmont72127
Geauga72049
Hancock71010
Athens6782
Ashtabula65948
Lawrence65822
Shelby64510
Auglaize6079
Putnam60323
Sandusky57620
Huron5467
Union5382
Scioto5057
Seneca48014
Ottawa46830
Preble43515
Muskingum4103
Holmes3879
Jefferson3364
Henry31414
Logan3123
Champaign3073
Clinton30013
Perry2979
Defiance29211
Brown2882
Knox28415
Washington26023
Jackson2586
Morrow2582
Hardin25513
Fulton2441
Ashland2394
Crawford2386
Coshocton23411
Fayette2316
Highland2303
Wyandot21212
Williams2093
Gallia19113
Pike1910
Meigs17510
Guernsey1698
Hocking1649
Carroll1527
Adams1314
Van Wert1193
Monroe11018
Paulding1100
Harrison633
Morgan470
Vinton473
Noble300
Unassigned00
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