Washington’s Department of Health confirms first coronavirus death; first in US

Washington’s Department of Health confirms first coronavirus death; first in US
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). (CDC via AP, File)

The Washington Department of Health confirmed Saturday the first coronavirus-related death in Washington state, according to a news release.

The death was the first confirmed in the United States from the coronavirus.

Health officials said there are new King County cases in addition to the two new cases confirmed Friday evening, KIRO-TV reported.

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The department is hosting a news conference at 1 p.m. local time to provide further details.

Gov. Jay Inslee released the following statement about the first confirmed death:

“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,” Inslee said. "We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus.

“In partnership with the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Department of Emergency Management and local and community health partners, we are strengthening our preparedness and response efforts. I am committed to keeping Washingtonians healthy, safe and informed.”

Two new cases of the coronavirus were reported in the Seattle area Friday evening, according to officials with the Washington State Department of Health.

The cases are currently being classified as “presumptive positives,” which means a test has come back positive at the Public Health Laboratory and is pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first is a teen with no travel history who attends Jackson High School in Mill Creek. The teen is at home in isolation but visited Seattle Children’s North Clinic on Monday.

There’s a concern the teen acquired the virus in the community, health officials said, and they are working to identify how the teen was exposed and are trying to track down people who might have come in contact with the patient.

The second person is a King County woman in her 50s who traveled to Daegu, South Korea, and is at home in isolation. The woman did not need medical attention and is recovering without complications. According to health officials, she has not been out in public since she started getting symptoms.