Gov. Jay Inslee declares state of emergency for coronavirus response
Hours after Washington state health officials announced the first coronavirus death in the U.S., Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency, directing agencies to use all resources needed to respond to the outbreak.
The first case of coronavirus in the U.S. was found in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. The first death presumed to be from coronavirus was also in the Seattle area – in Kirkland, Washington.
Inslee’s proclamation directing state agencies to use “everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities” also allows use of the Washington National Guard.
“Our priority now is to slow the spread of the virus,” Inslee said.
There are six cases of novel coronavirus in Washington state, including three that were contracted from within the state. This does not include the cases of people who were repatriated back to the U.S. from abroad. Up to five people were sent to Spokane Sacred Heart for observation.
The first case was a man in his 30s who had returned from China. He was kept in isolation in Everett and tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The second case was a high school senior in Everett, whose test results came in on Friday. It is unknown where he contracted the virus.
A third woman, in her 50s, returned home to King County from South Korea and started showing symptoms after a day at work.
A fourth person, a man, was tested last week and died. Little is known about him other than he had underlying illnesses.
Cases number five and six come from a nursing care facility in Kirkland, Washington. One was a health worker and the other a woman in her 70s.
Meanwhile, 50 people from the nursing care facility have fallen ill and await their test results.