Also on Sunday, Washington state reported its second death in King County, which is also the second death in the United States.
The coronavirus has probably been spreading undetected for about six weeks in Washington state, where the first U.S. death was reported this weekend, according to new research. A genetic analysis suggests that the cases are linked through community transmission and that the virus is likely to have been spreading undetected for weeks, with hundreds of infections possible in the state.
Officials in the Seattle area are monitoring a possible outbreak at a long-term nursing home. The elderly are considered especially vulnerable to infection. One patient is a health-care worker in her 40s who was in satisfactory condition, according to state health officials. The other, a resident in her 70s, is in serious condition.
The global death toll has surpassed 3,000 on four continents. The first U.S. death, in Washington state, was a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions, officials said. The patient had no recent travel history or contact with people known to be infected, officials said.
Here are the latest developments:
- Four new cases were confirmed in Washington state in King County on Sunday, including a second death, bringing that state’s total number of cases to 13. Rhode Island also announced its first probable case.
- The White House has scrambled to gain control of a rudderless response defined by bureaucratic infighting, confusion and misinformation. “It’s complete chaos,” one senior administration official said.
- Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Sunday that the administration is watching for possible drug shortages as a result of disruptions to the pharmaceutical supply chain in China.
- New cases have been announced in the Middle East as governments there try to control the spread.
- The Food and Drug Administration expanded coronavirus testing by allowing some hospitals laboratories to use their own tests, though some worry those changes fall short. The number of confirmed cases is likely to increase given the expansion in testing.