• COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Washington State due to community transmission
  • There are 13 cases in the state, of which 10 are in King County
  • There are two deaths in the state so far but three other patients are in critical condition

State and health officials in Washington State are expected to seriously ramp-up their screening for COVID-19 patients after a second person in the state died from the disease on Sunday.

The second patient was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth Medical Center, a hospital in Kirkland. The death of this 70-year-old man previously reported in serious condition is also the second death in the United States from COVID-19.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also confirmed Sunday night the state’s first positive coronavirus case. New York has been on high state of alert against COVID-19 and has stockpiled supplies and trained medical personnel to correctly combat this disease. Earlier, Rhode Island became the first U.S. state on the East Coast to report a confirmed coronavirus case.

"The patient, a woman in her late thirties, contracted the virus while traveling abroad in Iran, and is currently isolated in her home," said Cuomo. "The patient has respiratory symptoms, but is not in serious condition and has been in a controlled situation since arriving to New York."

NYC Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said the state’s disease detectives have already identified close contacts of the patient and those who might have been exposed, and will take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The first person in the U.S. to die from the disease, like the latest victim, was from King County in Washington State. He died Saturday. This man was admitted with serious respiratory issues, tested positive for COVID-19 and had no history of travel or known contact with anyone suffering from COVID-19.

Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Saturday after the first death from COVID-19. As of Saturday, eight people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington State.

Aside from the deceased, there are also three other new COVID-19 cases in King County, all of whom are in critical condition, said Public Health-Seattle & King County (PHSKC), the public health department jointly managed by Seattle and King County governments.

One elderly man in his 60s remains in critical condition from COVID-19 at the Valley Medical Center in Renton. The three new patients bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 10 in King County. In all, Washington State has 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two deaths, revealed PHSKC.

PHSKC also said more than 50 people in a Washington state nursing facility called Life Care Center of Kirkland are sick and being tested for the virus. On Sunday, the hospital's management issued a statement saying they currently have one associate and one resident diagnosed with COVID-19. The associate, a woman in her 40s, is in satisfactory condition while the resident is in serious condition at the EvergreenHealth Medical Center.

"They are receiving treatment at local hospitals," said the statement. "Those are the only two confirmed cases involving our facility at this time."

King County officials speak following the death of a Washington state resident due to novel coronavirus
King County officials speak following the death of a Washington state resident due to novel coronavirus AFP / Jason Redmond

There might already be "a few hundred" people in Washington State that might actually be infected by COVID-19, claims Trevor Bedford, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

As of 11:43 p.m. ET, Sunday, the U.S. has 86 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). Worldwide, confirmed cases come to 89,070 of which 80,026 are in mainland China. There are 3,044 deaths globally.