Public/Global Health

California reports state’s first coronavirus fatality as US death toll hits 11

Nearly a dozen people have died of coronavirus in the U.S. as the first fatality was confirmed outside Washington state on Wednesday.

Officials in Placer County, Calif., said an elderly adult with underlying health conditions has died from the virus, bringing the U.S. death toll to 11.

The patient had tested positive on Tuesday and was in isolation at Kaiser Permanente Roseville, officials said in a release.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of this patient,” Placer County Health Officer Aimee Sisson said. “While we have expected more cases, this death is an unfortunate milestone in our efforts to fight this disease, and one that we never wanted to see.”

The patient was “likely exposed” while on a Princess cruise ship Feb. 11-21 that went from San Francisco to Mexico, officials said, noting the case was “travel-related.” Officials said their “preliminary understanding” was that the patient had “minimal community exposure” between the cruise and being taken to the hospital.

The health care workers who responded to the patient before they were put in isolation are under quarantine and are not showing symptoms as of now. County health officials are working with Sacramento County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find other cruise passengers.

The California death came as Washington state’s Department of Health confirmed its 10th death, which occurred in King County.

The state’s health department updated its number of confirmed cases to 39 on Wednesday, an increase of 12 cases from Tuesday.

Nine of Washington’s 10 deaths have occurred in King County, which includes Seattle and a nursing home in Kirkland connected to seven of the previously confirmed deaths.

It was unclear if the latest confirmed death was associated with the nursing home, according to Seattle station Q13 Fox News.

More than a dozen states have confirmed cases of coronavirus. The U.S. has a total of 148 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Gov. Jay Inslee (D) declared a state of emergency for Washington on Saturday. 

Vice President Pence, whom President Trump put in charge of the administration’s coronavirus efforts, announced that he will travel to the state Thursday.

Updated: 3:19 p.m.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Jay Inslee

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