BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Health officials in Washington state confirm a person has died from the 2019 novel Coronavirus, marking the first person to die from the disease in the U.S.
The patient came to EvergreenHealth Medical Center, about 20 miles northeast of Seattle, and tested positive for COVID-19. According to local news, there is a second infected person in isolation at the same medical center.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a statement, calling it "a sad day," adding "our hearts go out to his family and friends."
The death comes one day after Washington state, neighboring Oregon, and California all reported new cases of Coronavirus. Among them were three cases contracted from an unknown source.
While the person who died of the Coronavirus in Washington state has not yet been identified, there were two people who tested positive for the virus on Friday; a high school student from Snohomish County, and a woman in her 50s from King County who had recently traveled to South Korea.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon shortly after the death was announced, Vice President Pence called it "tragic news from Washington state."
Pence also said the Administration is taking steps to keep the virus at bay from countries where it is spreading fast. He said at President Trump's direction, the State Department will now put additional travel restrictions on Iran. He said they will also expand existing travel restrictions to any foreign national who has visited Iran in the last 14 days.
The Trump Administration is also advising Americans not travel to specific regions in Italy and South Korea. The State Department will also coordinate with those countries to ensure medical screening for anyone coming to the U.S.
"The average American does not need to go out and buy a mask," Pence said. "But this Administration is always going to put our patients first... and our health care providers."
He said there are plans for 35 million more masks to be produced, and there will be courses of action to increase the availability of the masks for healthcare providers.