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15 states treating coronavirus patients as virus death toll in U.S. reaches 6, officials say

As of early March, people have tested positive for the coronavirus in about 70 countries. Officials are taking "unprecedented" actions. (Video: The Washington Post)
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Washington state announced four more coronavirus deaths on Monday, bringing the total death toll in the United States to six, officials said, as the virus continues to spread despite travel restrictions aimed at curtailing it.

In the United States, tests have taken place at a far slower pace than in South Korea and China, where reported cases of the virus continue to rise. A genetic analysis suggested that the coronavirus, which causes a highly infectious respiratory disease called covid-19, had been spreading undetected for about six weeks in Washington state. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday took steps to sharply expand testing.

Italy has more than 1,600 confirmed cases, while Iran surpassed 1,500, with 66 deaths. Travelers from both countries appear to have spread the virus to other nations in the Middle East and Europe. A French citizen was diagnosed with the virus in Senegal on Monday, marking the country’s first known case and the second in sub-Saharan Africa. Elsewhere, Indonesia, one of the few large nations thought to be free of the virus, said Monday it had two confirmed cases, while others were reported from Australia to India to Portugal.

Here are the latest developments:

  • The U.S. death toll rose to six on Monday, with the number of cases topping 100 across 15 states.
  • There are at least 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Washington state. Kirkland, Wash., has become a hub for the coronavirus response, as evidence suggests the virus may have spread undetected in the state for weeks.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cancel the planned release of dozens of people from quarantine in his state after a patient tested positive for the virus after she was mistakenly released and spent 12 hours in the community, visiting a mall and a hotel.
  • As President Trump boasted of his efforts to contain the outbreak in the United States on Monday evening, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) of Washington, the location of the nation’s most serious outbreak, said people should consider avoiding large public events and prepare for other disruptions in their daily lives as the coronavirus continues to spread.

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