Vice President Mike Pence sought Sunday to reassure the American public that the federal government is working to make sure state and local authorities are able to test for coronavirus, as the number of US cases grew following reports of new infections in Illinois, Rhode Island, and Washington state, the AP reports. Fanning out across the Sunday talk shows, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar disclosed the case in Chicago but offered no other details. Azar and Pence, who also made the rounds, said thousands more kits to test for coronavirus had been distributed to state and local officials, with thousands more to come. For more:
- Rhode Island state public health officials announced the state's first virus case on Sunday in someone in their 40s who had traveled to Italy in mid-February. The person is hospitalized and receiving treatment.
- And in Washington state, authorities announced two more cases on Sunday, including a man in his 60s who was in critical condition. The news brought the total number of coronavirus cases in the Seattle area to six. More than 50 people in a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, are sick and being tested for the virus.
- The number of known coronavirus cases in the US had reached 70 as of Sunday.
- Italian authorities said the total number of people infected in Italy had risen to 1,694, a 50% jump from just 24 hours earlier, the AP reports. Five more people infected with the virus have died, bringing the deaths in Italy to 34, while 83 people have fully recovered.
- The virus has spread to 60 countries, infecting roughly 88,000 and taking about 3,000 lives, per AP reports here and here. China remains far ahead of all nations with 79,824 cases and 2,870 deaths.
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