The US just reported its second coronavirus death - another patient in Washington state

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The US just reported its second coronavirus death - another patient in Washington state

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Life Care Center of Kirkland where a number of seniors are at risk of novel coronavirus in Kirkland, Washington, U.S. February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ryan Henriksen

Two patients in King County, Washington have died of the coronavirus - the first two deaths on US soil.

King County public health officials confirmed the second death on Sunday evening. The patient was a man in his 70s with underlying health problems. The man was a resident of a long-term care facility called Life Care Center in King County. He died on Saturday at EvergreenHealth, a hospital in the Seattle area.

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The first coronavirus death on US soil was also a patient at EvergreenHealth: a man in his 50s who had chronic underlying health issues.

Washington has confirmed 12 cases of the virus so far, including the two deaths.

King County health officials announced five more cases on Sunday, including three patients at EvergreenHealth: a woman in her 80s, a woman in her 90s, and a man in his 70s. All three patients have underlying health problems and are also residents of the Life Care Center.

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Approximately 27 residents at the Life Care Center and 25 staff members have shown symptoms of the virus, King County public health officer Jeffrey Duchin said on Saturday.

The other two cases reported on Sunday were not related to the long-term care facility. The patients, both men in their 60s, are in critical condition.

Additional cases in Washington include a woman in her 70s at the Life Care Center who is in serious condition, a healthcare worker at the Life Care Center, a woman in her 50s who recently returned from South Korea, a high school student in Snohomish County, and a man in his 30s in Snohomish County.

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On Saturday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the Washington State Department of Health, Emergency Management Division, and "local community health partners" were working to strengthen the state's "preparedness and response efforts."

The CDC said on Saturday that the risk to the US public remains low, but the agency may recommend canceling large public events in Washington state if the virus spreads further there.

"In all likelihood, there is ongoing low-level transmission" in Washington, Francis Riedo, an infectious-disease specialist at EvergreenHealth, said at a press conference on Saturday.

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In total, the US has more than 80 confirmed coronavirus cases, most among people who were repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Read more:

Mapping the coronavirus outbreak: Where in the world - and the US - the disease has spread

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Chinese social-media platform WeChat saw spikes in the terms 'SARS,' 'coronavirus,' and 'shortness of breath,' weeks before the first cases were confirmed, a study suggests

Wife of first US service member to test positive for the coronavirus has also been infected

At least 4 of the dozens of US coronavirus cases are not linked to overseas travel but are likely the result of 'community spread'

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