Washington State health officials said Sunday that a nursing home resident who contracted the new coronavirus has died—the second death in the U.S. as the outbreak continues to spread across the country.
The patient was described only as a man in his 70s with underlying health problems—the scenario under which the virus is most lethal. He was moved from the LifeCare long-term care facility in Kirkland to a hospital, where he died.
There are now six confirmed cases, including the fatality, from the nursing home, but that number could rise since officials have said dozens of staffers and residents there have symptoms.
The first death—a man in his 50s who also had health issues—was announced on Saturday. He had not traveled to one of the coronavirus hot spots, so health investigators believe he was infected locally.
It has become almost impossible to keep up with the fast-changing coronavirus statistics, with the number of confirmed cases in new countries and cities seeming to roll like ticker tape.
The latest confirmations include a New York woman in her 30s who recently traveled to Iran, where an outbreak is in full swing, and an American student studying in Italy who reportedly just tested positive while on a weekend trip to the Czech Republic. Rhode Island announced a second positive test, and Florida declared a state of emergency after two presumptive cases there.
As of Sunday, there were 76 in the U.S., including those who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise or the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus originated.
Testing of potential patients has been slow in the U.S., with only about 3,600 tests completed, compared to 100,000 tested in South Korea and more than 21,000 tested in Italy.
But Vice President Mike Pence said on CNN that more than 10,000 test kits are “in the mail” to regional health officials trying to stem the spread.
In Hungary, the government is using the fear of the spread to close borders and transit zones to migrants on the move, though they are not the first to politicize the virus. President Donald Trump in the U.S. and far-right leader Matteo Salvini in Italy have done the same.
In Rome on Sunday, men in white hazmat suits swooped in to close the famous Luigi dei Francesi church next to Piazza Navona which houses three original Caravaggio paintings. A French priest who had been in Rome to celebrate Ash Wednesday mass had just tested positive in France, where the number of confirmed cases is growing. Italy has seen the number of cases climb to nearly 1,700 and the number of deaths rise to 34, but—until now—it had not been a problem in Rome.
The spread in France caused the Louvre in Paris on Sunday to close its doors early amid growing concern by workers that they might be at risk. It is unknown how long one of the world’s most famous museums will be closed.
In South Korea, which has seen an explosion in the number of cases—now at 3,730—and 21 deaths tied to the Shincheonji religious sect, the founder and 11 others have just been charged with murder, causing harm and violating the Infectious Disease and Control Act.
To date, more than 85,403 cases have been confirmed in over 60 countries, according to the World Health Organization. More than 2,900 people have died worldwide.