Two more persons died of coronavirus in the US State of Washington, bringing the nationwide toll to 19 as confirmed cases in New York jumped by 21 overnight and the disease spread to more than half of all U.S. states.
The two latest deaths were in Washington’s King County, the hardest hit area in the United States after the virus spread among residents at a nursing facility in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland.
The first deaths on the East Coast were announced late Friday, with two people succumbing in Florida.
Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference, a high-profile annual gathering that took place in Maryland last month, said on Saturday one of their attendees had tested positive for the virus after exposure prior to the event. The person had no interactions with President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, who were in attendance, the American Conservative Union said in a statement.
Off California, passengers on a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco after some aboard tested positive for the novel coronavirus did not know on Saturday when they might be able to step ashore.
In New York, the number of confirmed cases jumped by 21 overnight to a statewide total of 76 people, 10 of whom have been hospitalized, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday. He issued a declaration of emergency.
“It allows expedited purchasing and expedited hiring, which is what we need right now,” Cuomo told a news conference.
Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told a news conference at the White House on Saturday that a total of 2.1. million coronavirus tests will have been shipped to non-public labs by Monday, as the Trump administration aims to counter criticism that its response to the disease has been sluggish.
Hahn said the focus is on getting tests to the highest risk areas in Washington state and California.
The respiratory illness has spread to more than 90 countries, killing more than 3,400 people and infecting more than 100,000 worldwide.