BREAKING NEWS Finally Feeling Like Fall Full Story

First coronavirus death in US may be one of growing number of cases from an unknown source, official says

HHS Secretary Alex Azar tells reporters that the risk for contracting coronavirus remains low in the US.

Posted: Mar 1, 2020 3:10 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2020 3:10 PM

The United States was reacting Sunday morning to the first reported US death from coronavirus with tighter travel restrictions and predictions of more infections and fatalities.

President Trump tweeted about new screening procedures for people arriving from certain "high-risk countries." Vice President Mike Pence said more US deaths are possible but added most Americans should not worry.

New York University doctors and other experts say the US probably has more cases than identified officially. That's because of testing delays and the virus' ability to spread before an infected person shows any symptoms. The New York Times reported Sunday the virus might have been in Washington state for weeks and up to 1,500 people might be infected there.

All this followed official warnings last week that the virus would begin spreading in US communities.

No clear source of infection

The first US death, announced Saturday, added to a growing list of infections circulating in communities without any clear source.

Of the 86,500 cases confirmed globally, at least 2,976 have been fatal -- 2,870 of which were in China. The US has reached at least 74 confirmed cases of the virus, according to counts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health authorities.

Several of those cases are believed to have been spread person-to-person with unknown origins, including the patient in Washington state who died, said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC.

The patient was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, according to Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County, Washington.

Two cases in Washington announced Saturday are affiliated with Life Care Center, a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, Duchin said.

More than 50 residents and staff at the facility are experiencing symptoms and will be tested for coronavirus, Duchin said. "We're in the process of investigating this situation as an outbreak," he told reporters Saturday.

The facility said in a statement it's not allowing visits from families, volunteers or vendors, and admissions have been placed on hold for the time being. "We take the event very seriously," a statement from the facility's executive director said, in part.

But US officials have urged Americans not to panic.

"It's important to remember," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, "for the vast majority of individuals who contract the novel coronavirus, they will experience mild to moderate symptoms, and their treatment will be to remain at home, treating their symptoms, the way they would a severe cold, or the flu."

74 US cases

Of the 74 confirmed or presumptive positive cases in the US, 44 people were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people were repatriated from China and 27 cases were detected in the US, according to health officials.

Presumptive positives mean tests in state or local labs came back positive but have not yet been confirmed by the CDC.

At least 13 cases in the US are travel-related and at least 10 are linked to person-to-person spread, according to the CDC. Several are of unknown origin.

The Rhode Island Department of Health announced the state's first presumptive positive case on Sunday morning. The patient was said to be in their 40s and had in mid-February traveled in Europe, including Italy, where there were 1,694 cases as of Sunday.

The Rhode Island patient is being treated at an undiclosed hospital, and officials are reaching out to people who has had direct contact with the individual, the state Department of Health said in a statement. The patient has had limited travel within the state and hasn't been to work since returning from Italy.

Two more presumptive positive cases were announced in Washington state on Sunday, bringing the state's total number of cases to 8. Both of the new patients were men in their 60s with underlying health conditions, public health officials with Seattle and King County said in a news release. The county now has six cases of coronavirus.

One is hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton and is in critical but stable condition, the news release said. The other is at Virginia Mason Medical Center in critical condition.

Nike said it was deep-cleaning its headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, after health authorities confirmed a case in Washington County.

The Oregon case was announced Friday and is believed to be a case of person-to-person transmission. The individual is a presumptive positive and is in isolation.

"While we have no information indicating any exposure to Nike employees, out of an abundance of caution, we are conducting a deep cleaning of campus," Nike said in a statement to CNN. "All WHQ buildings and facilities, including fitness centers, will be closed over the weekend."

Pence says more deaths 'possible' but risk is low

Pence told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that it is "possible" more Americans will die.

"But the American people should know the risk for the average American remains low," Pence said.

Pence said federal officials are addressing the lack of testing kits in the US.

The vice president said Saturday the administration is expanding existing travel restrictions on Iran to include foreign nationals who had visited Iran in the last 14 days. The US will also increase travel advisories for Italy and South Korea to Level 4 -- the highest level -- advising Americans not to travel to specific regions in those countries.

On Sunday, Trump announced in a tweet that people will be screened for coronavirus upon arriving in the US if they are traveling from "high-risk countries."

It's not clear what passengers will receive this increased screening. CNN has asked the White House for more information.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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