UPDATED with latest: The death toll of victims of coronavirus in the U.S. grew to 14 on Friday, with 13 of the deaths in Washington state. Also, three students at University of California, Los Angeles, are being tested for coronavirus, said UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block.
Two more people died overnight from the virus in Kirkland, WA, said EvergreenHealth hospital CEO Jeff Tomlin, where many of the patients are being treated.
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The three UCLA students are self-isolating off-campus as they are being tested for COVID-19, Block said in a statement Friday.
“LACDPH has committed to expediting these tests for UCLA,” the statement reads. “As soon as we learn the results, we will inform you of any campus impacts. Understandably, some of you may be wondering about the status of classes and campus operations in general.”
The statement continues, “We are actively monitoring and responding to the situation and will continue to follow the guidance of public health agencies. At this time, there have been no recommendations by LACDPH to suspend campus operations, including modifying class schedules.”
No student or faculty member has tested positive for coronavirus so far, according to Block.
The California Department of Public Health reports that as of 10 AM PT March 5, there were a total of 60 positive cases and one death in California.
The latest news comes after the first death in California and another Washington death was announced Wednesday. Overall, as of Friday there are 148 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. according to the World Health Organization. The global death toll stands at 3,408, per the WHO, with 98,192 reported cases worldwide.
Three U.S. deaths were announced Tuesday, two of which were residents of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, WA, near Seattle, that has become a flashpoint for the illness. Washington state as of Thursday had 70 positive diagnoses of coronavirus, the most in the country.
The Centers for Disease Control said that as of Tuesday evening there were 99 coronavirus cases overall in the U.S. in 13 states. That total includes four new cases in Los Angeles County, which on Wednesday declared a health emergency. The state of California did the same later Wednesday.
The two new U.S. deaths Wednesday were confirmed by officials in Placer County, located just northeast of Sacramento in northern California, and the Washington State Department of Health, respectively.
The California case involved “an elderly adult with underlying health conditions” who was the second patient to test positive for the illness in the county. He was tested presumptively positive on Tuesday, with local officials saying he was likely exposed during international travel last month on a Princess cruise ship traveling from San Francisco to Mexico.
The Placer County Public Health department said a preliminary investigation suggests the patient ‘had minimal community exposure between returning from the cruise and arriving at the hospital by ambulance on Feb. 27.” The patient had been in isolation at Kaiser Permanente Roseville; 10 of the hospital’s healthcare workers and five emergency responders that had been exposed to the patient are now in quarantine, but currently exhibit no symptoms.
Two of the three Washington state victims identified Tuesday died on February 24 and February 26, before the illness became widespread. It made them the first known COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. The first death from the coronavirus in the U.S. was recorded February 29 in Washington state, the second patient died Sunday.
The WHO earlier this week raised the fatality rate for the illness to 3.4%.
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