Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared state of emergency over coronavirus spread after the first death was confiremed in the US.
— Alexander Higgins (@kr3at) February 29, 2020
Earlier in the day, health officials reported that one person died of COVID-19 in Washington state, marking the first such reported death in the country.
No details have been provided about the deceased.
State health officials are expected to brief the media on the issue on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time (2100 GMT), Reuters said, citing the officials' statement.
Previously, health officials in California, Washington and Oregon confirmed that three patients were infected with the new virus by unknown means, AP says.
According to authorities, as quoted by the agency, the patients had not travelled overseas recently or had any known contact with a traveller or an infected person.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China in late December. It has spread to 50 countries since then, claiming the lives of more than 2,800 people and infecting tens of thousands more. The latest spike in cases has been seen in South Korea, Iran, and Italy.