A man has died in Washington state of COVID-19, state health officials said Saturday, marking the first such reported death in the US. State officials issued a terse news release announcing the death, gave no details, and scheduled a news conference, the AP reports. A spokesperson for EvergreenHealth Medical Center, Kayse Dahl, said the person died in the facility in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, but gave no other details. State and King County health officials said "new people (have been) identified with the infection, one of whom died." They did not say how many new cases there are. Amy Reynolds of the Washington state health department said in a brief telephone interview: "We are dealing with an emergency evolving situation."
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the person who died was a man from Washington state. "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." The number of coronavirus cases in the US is considered small. Worldwide, the number of people sickened by the virus hovered Friday around 83,000, and there were more than 2,800 deaths, most of them in China. Health officials in California, Oregon, and Washington state worried about the novel coronavirus spreading through West Coast communities after confirming three patients were infected by unknown means.
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