08:42 GMT29 March 2020
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    Health officials from Washington state announced Tuesday that a total of nine deaths related to the COVID-19 coronavirus have been confirmed there.

    According to the Washington State Department of Health website, there have been at least 27 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and a total of nine deaths statewide. 

    As of the state's latest update, two counties have been impacted by the coronavirus: Snohomish County, which has six reported cases and one death, and King County, with 21 confirmed cases and eight fatalities. 

    The latest reporting from health officials is a significant uptick from Monday's count of 18 cases and six deaths. 

    Harborview Medical Center spokesperson Susan Gregg revealed that one of the deaths confirmed on March 3 actually occurred six days ago, but the deceased individual's diagnosis was not known until recently. Due to this particular case, some employees of the King County facility will be both monitored and screened by a health team daily.  

    "In coordination with Public Health Seattle & King County, we have determined that some staff may have been exposed while working in an intensive care unit where the patient had been treated. We don’t believe that other patients were potentially exposed," Gregg told KOMO News

    "This is a very fluid, fast-moving situation as we aggressively respond to this outbreak," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for public health for Seattle & King County, in a Tuesday news release. "People with suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19 should reach out to their healthcare provider."

    Another 231 individuals are "under public health supervision" by the state due to their exposure to the novel coronavirus or recent return to the US from China, where the viral outbreak began. 

    Topic:
    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)

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