The US has recorded its first death due to the novel coronavirus.
A man in his 50s died in hospital at EvergreenHealth Medical Centre in the Seattle area, King County public health officer Dr. Jeff Duchin told reporters Saturday afternoon.
The man had underlying medical conditions.
He was not in the long-term care facility near Evergreen, although Duchin said health workers there are dealing with an outbreak of pneumonia-like symptoms among residents.
In a statement, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said “it is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to their family and friends. ”
It is a sad day as we learn a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
We are strengthening our preparedness and response efforts to keep Washingtonians healthy, safe and informed.
Full statement: https://t.co/F3xn4afjG5 pic.twitter.com/yTG6omGcLI
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) February 29, 2020
Officials with the Washington State Department of Health initially confirmed the death on Twitter Saturday morning.
The Washington State Department of Health confirms the first U.S. death from COVID-19 has occurred here in the state of Washington. We will share more information at a media briefing today at 1pm. Information to watch via livestream will be shared here. #COVID19
— WA Dept. of Health (@WADeptHealth) February 29, 2020
Across the country, the US has recorded more than 60 cases of COVID-19.
In Canada, there have been 19 cases and no deaths so far.