The US has reported its first coronavirus death: a person in King County Washington

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The US has reported its first coronavirus death: a person in King County Washington

FILE PHOTO: The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 29, 2020. Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM/CDC/Handout via REUTERS

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  • A person in Washington state has died from the coronavirus - the first death on US soil.
  • The virus has infected more than 80,000 people, mostly in China.
  • More than 60 Americans have been diagnosed with the virus, the majority of whom are repatriated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A person in Washington state has died of the coronavirus, officials announced Saturday - the first death in US soil.

The news was first reported by local Washington outlet KOMO. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee confirmed the death in a statement Saturday, calling it a "sad day."

"Our hearts go out to his family and friends," Inslee said. "We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus."

The governor added that the Washington State Departments of Health, Emergency Management, and "local community health partners" were working to strengthen the state's "preparedness and response efforts."

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Three cases have already been announced in Washington state: two "presumptive positive" cases were reported on Friday, and the US' very first case - a man in his 30s in Snohomish County, Washington - was confirmed on January 21.

The two newest cases in Kings County are a woman in her 50s who was diagnosed after a trip to South Korea, and a high school student in Snohomish County who is believed to be yet another US case of community spread.

It was unclear if the death is one of the previously reported cases or a new one. Officials from the state are expected to provide updates at 1 p.m. local time.

In total, the US has more than 60 confirmed coronavirus cases, most among people who were repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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