Second American Coronavirus Death Confirmed as New York Reports First Case
Two deaths from same Seattle hospital, 77 patients now confirmed nationwide
The death of a second coronavirus patient has now been confirmed in the United States, at the same Seattle hospital where the first sufferer died, according to reports.
The news comes as New York confirms its first case and the number of American infections hits 77 people nationwide.
On Sunday night, Health officials in Washington state revealed that a man in his 70s had died.
The victim had previously been a resident at a nursing facility near Seattle where dozens of people were sick and had been tested for the deadly virus COVID-19.
The unnamed man, who reportedly had underlying health conditions, died at the Evergreen Health hospital in Kirkland.
The facility is the same hospital where the country's first coronavirus-related death was reported over the weekend.
Officials also confirmed three other patients at the hospital - a woman in her 80s, a woman in her 90s and a man in his 70s - are all in a critical condition, according to reports.
The man who died and the three critical patients had all been residents of the LifeCare nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, where health officials said 50 people are sick and being tested for the virus.
It came as the first positive case of coronavirus in New York was confirmed on Sunday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Reports said that the woman is currently in Manhattan and is isolated inside her home.
A statement from Cuomo's office reveals that the patient, an unidentified woman in her late 30s, contracted COVID-19 while traveling abroad in Iran.
"The positive test was confirmed by New York's Wadsworth Lab in Albany, underscoring the importance of the ability for our state to ensure efficient and rapid turnaround," Cuomo wrote.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will now confirm the case.
It's unclear when the woman was in Iran and when she returned to the U.S.
After the death of the resident from EvergreenHealth hospital in Kirkland, The CDC and local health officials sent an emergency response team to try to control the escalating situation.
Frank Riedo, the medical director of infection control at EvergreenHealth Hospital said: "I think … what we're seeing is the tip of the iceberg.
"We're seeing the most critically ill individuals. Usually that means there's a significant percentage of individuals with less severe illness floating around out there. So in all likelihood there is ongoing low-level transmission."
"We are very concerned about an outbreak in a setting where there are many older people, as we would be wherever people who are susceptible might be gathering," Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for Seattle and King County, said.
Duchin added that older adults and people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart or lung disease should be especially careful to protect themselves by washing their hands, not touching their faces, and avoiding contact with people who are sick.
The Life Care facility provides 24-hour care for residents, including physician and nurse coverage, many of whom have long-term and chronic conditions.
News of the potential outbreak in the facility is concerning given the higher danger of coronavirus being fatal to individuals who are less healthy or already have pre-existing conditions.
Medical staff wearing protective clothing and masks were pictured transporting a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at the Life Care facility on Saturday.
The CDC is working with the facility to try to get a handle on the situation, they said, but the individual said they could not confirm reports that the CDC was sending in an emergency response team to the home.
Executive director Ellie Basham said in a statement that the facility is monitoring the situation closely.
One-quarter of Kirkland firefighters have also been quarantined after they responded to Life Care facility over the last week, according to Seattle Times.
"It impacted multiple crews," Kellie Stickney, a city of Kirkland spokesperson, said.
The city has not stated where the firefighters are being quarantined.
At least 77 patients in the US have now been confirmed to have coronavirus after one was reported in Rhode Island and a fifth "unknown" origin case was found in Chicago on Sunday.
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted that the deadly virus's entrance into New York's population of 19 million was a "matter of when, not if."
He went on to say that there is a $40million emergency management authorization legislature that has been proposed to government officials and is anticipating it's quick approval.
"There is no reason for undue anxiety -- the general risk remains low in New York," he wrote.
"We are diligently managing this situation and will continue to provide information as it becomes available."
New York's first positive coronavirus case comes after officials confirmed new coronavirus cases on Sunday.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed the latest infection in Chicago during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, saying that authorities are now working to trace the source of the latest instance.
So far, there are at least five reported cases nationwide - one in Chicago, one in Washington State, one in Oregon, and two in California - where authorities do not know how the virus was contracted, according to the federal government.
The Chicago Tribune on Sunday reported that the third case of coronavirus was confirmed in Illinois.
A suburban Cook County resident was found to be a "presumptive case of novel coronavirus," the Illinois Department of Public Health announced.
The patient is hospitalized in isolation, and protocols by the Centers for Disease Control have been implemented.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has asked hospitals across the state to do more testing to improve surveillance for the virus.
The state was the first in the nation to provide for testing, according to the Tribune.
The governor announced on Friday that there were now three labs in the state that could test for coronavirus - one in Cook County, one in Springfield, and a third in Carbondale.
Officials said that the two other Illinois patients found to have the coronavirus have since made a full recovery.
Also on Sunday, the Rhode Island Department of Health announced the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus.
The patient is in their 40s and had traveled to Italy in mid-February, the state agency said.
"RIDOH is coordinating closely with the hospital where this person is currently being treated and all infection control protocols are being followed," the department said in a statement.
"The Rhode Island Department of Health has been preparing for weeks to ensure that we have a structure in place to, to the best of our ability, limit or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Rhode Island," said Nicole Alexander-Scott, the director of the department.
"We fully anticipated having a first case of COVID-19.
"We are not seeing widespread community transmission in Rhode Island, and the general level of risk for Rhode Islanders is still low.
"However, everyone in Rhode Island has a role to play in helping us prevent the spread of viruses, just like the flu.
"It is very important that people wash their hands regularly, cover their coughs and sneezes, and stay home if they are sick."
On Sunday night, the Florida Department of Health confirmed two patients have tested "presumptive positive" for coronavirus.
One is a resident of Hillsborough County, while the other is from Manatee County.
Both have been isolated.
The Trump administration on Saturday announced measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, including new restrictions on Americans and others who have traveled to Iran.
The government is also advising citizens against travel to certain parts of Italy and South Korea, where significant outbreaks of the pathogen have been reported.