SEATTLE (AP) – The number of deaths in the United States from the coronavirus rose to 11 on Wednesday with the death of a patient in California – the first out of Washington state – while federal authorities announced an investigation into a nursing home in the Seattle area where several deaths were recorded.
Authorities in Placer County, California, near Sacramento, said the deceased was elderly and tested positive for the virus after returning from a cruise ship from San Francisco to Mexico. The victim already had other health problems, authorities said.RELATED
The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, declared the statewide emergency. Washington and Florida had declared their emergencies before.
Washington also announced another death, which already adds 10 in the state. Most of the dead lived in the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, a suburb east of Seattle. At least 39 cases have been registered in the area of that city, where, according to researchers, the virus could have been circulating for weeks without being detected.
Seema Verma, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, federal court, said the agency decided to send inspectors to Life Care along with experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find out what happened and determine if the place met the rules to prevent infections.
Last April, the state fined Life Care with $ 67,000 for deficiencies in infection control after two flu outbreaks that affected 17 patients and staff. A subsequent inspection conducted in June without prior notice determined that Life Care had corrected the problems, according to Verma.
The authorities in Washington have been urged to adopt stronger measures against the outbreak, such as the closure of schools and the cancellation of mass events. Although the state and Seattle have declared emergencies that give those responsible broad powers to suspend activities, they have not provided anything.
The North Carolina health authorities reported that a person from Wake County tested positive for the disease after visiting asylum. The patient’s plane ride from the Seattle area to the Raleigh-Durham airport raised fears that passengers would be exposed to the disease.
In Los Angeles, the virus was detected by a contracted medical worker who was conducting checks at the city’s main airport. The person used protective equipment while doing his job, but it is unknown how he became infected, National Security authorities said.
In New York, health authorities quarantined hundreds of people after the virus was diagnosed to members of two families in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the disease was reportedly spread by a lawyer to his wife, two children, a neighbor and two others.
The new results raised the number of confirmed cases to 11 in the state.
The Associated Press journalist Carla K. Johnson, in Seattle, contributed to this office.