Coronavirus U.S. Outbreak Update As New Cases Confirmed in Georgia, California, Oregon and Washington

The COVID-19 virus has claimed the lives of four more people in the U.S., raising the death toll to six, all of which are reported to be in Washington. At least 12 more have been infected in the state, while new cases have also been confirmed in Georgia, California and Oregon.

The deadly virus, which was first reported in Wuhan city of the Hubei province of China, has infected more than 91,000 people and more than 3,000 people have died globally. At least 81,151 cases are confirmed to be in China, including 2,835 deaths, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

While the spread of the virus seems to be slowing down in China, according to a statement by WHO's director-general on Monday, it seems to be picking up pace outside China, including in the States.

The number of cases in the U.S climbed to at least 105 on Tuesday, from about 89 on Monday. At least 45 of the cases were reported to be passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Princess Cruises ship was quarantined at sea in Japan for two weeks last month after a passenger from Hong Kong was diagnosed. All infected American evacuees from the ship were taken to a hospital near the Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California.

Washington declares another state of emergency

Washington's King County declared a state of emergency following the most recent deaths in the state, while state governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency across the state on Saturday.

The governor's declaration "directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases," the governor said in a statement.

The four people who died recently in Washington include a woman and a man in their 70s who both had underlying conditions. They were both residents of LifeCare, a nursing facility which had several confirmed cases and one previous death, according to Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for Washington's department of public health.

State health officials confirmed the other two deaths include a woman in her 80s and a man in his 40s from Snohomish County. All four patients were hospitalized at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in the city of Kirkland, Seattle's KOMO News reports.

All staff and other residents at LifeCare are reportedly being tested for the virus, ABC News reports.

Around 231 people in Washington state are reported to be under public health supervision, with several of them suspected of infection, KOMO News reports.

The latest fatalities follow the death of two others in Washington state, who were both reported to have had underlying health conditions. One of the patients was in his 50s, while the other was in his 70s.

The mayor of the city of Redmond in Washington has declared a local state of emergency in view of the latest spike in cases. But the Redmond city government noted "currently, the local risk remains low to the general public. City staff continue to work closely with local partners to prepare and respond as necessary," the city government said on its website.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the U.S. as of March 3.

statista, coronavirus cases, covid-19, US cases
A map by Statista shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as of March 3.

Georgia reports first cases

The state of Georgia also reported its first two cases in Fulton County. One of the infected patients was reported to be a man who recently returned from a trip to Milan, and both were said to be residents of the same household, the state's governor Brian Kemp announced at a press conference.

"Georgians should remain calm," Kemp said at the press conference. "We were ready for today; we've been preparing for several weeks now," he said.

Both individuals were said to be showing mild symptoms and have been quarantined at home, along with their other relatives to prevent the spread of the virus, according to a statement from the state's department of public health.

The department is in the process of tracking who else may have been exposed to the infected individuals, the state's public health commissioner, Kathleen Toomey, confirmed at the press conference.

"We thought it was important that we come today and tell you about this, even as our epidemiologists are still investigating and trying to find potential contacts in the community," she said.

She also confirmed "This was not person-to-person contact in the community that created this case, this was a travel-related case," noting that the individual who traveled to Milan contacted his doctor after returning from his trip, recognizing he may be at risk of infection.

"This was an astute member of the public who recognized the potential risks because of travel," she said.

More cases in California

Five new cases of the virus emerged in California on Monday, including two in Santa Clara County, as well as cases in San Mateo County, Sonoma County and Placer County.

The latest cases bring the total number in Santa Clara County to nine, while most cases in California are reported to be passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The latest patient in Sonoma County was reported to be a man who traveled on a cruise from San Francisco to Mexico (unrelated to the Diamond Princess cruise ship) and has been in Sonoma County for 10 days, the Sonoma County department of health services confirmed.

The county has since declared a local public health emergency as well as a local emergency to respond to the COVID-19 virus.

"These proclamations will allow the County to prepare to respond for the possibility of community spread of COVID-19. This includes a partial activation of the County Emergency Operations Center to support necessary activities," the department said in a statement.

The infected person in Placer County was reported to be an employee at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital, the third worker to have been exposed to an infected woman from Solano County who was hospitalized at the facility.

All three workers were reported to be in isolation in their homes, Placer County Public Health reports.

"We have expected to see cases of COVID-19 in Placer County and have been planning and preparing accordingly," Placer County health officer Dr. Aimee Sisson said in the statement.

"Given recent evidence of community spread occurring elsewhere in California, we are now encouraging the public to prepare for the likelihood of local community spread here as well, unrelated to this case," Sisson said.

The origin of the case in San Mateo was said to be unknown as the person did not travel recently or have contact with an infected person.

"This new case of a positive case of novel coronavirus has happened in San Mateo County and we share the concerns of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that we all need to be prepared for COVID-19 to spread within the United States," said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County health officer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Los Angeles airport passengers masks coronavirus
People wear face masks at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California on March 2, 2020. Getty Images

Oregon sees third case

Oregon has reported its third "presumptive case," which is a case that's been tested positive by a public health lab and is pending confirmation from a CDC testing.

The latest patient was reported to be a casino worker who went to a basketball game at Weston Middle School in Umatilla County, near the Oregon-Washington state border.

One of the three patients was said to have mild symptoms, while the Oregon Health Authority declined to disclose details about the conditions of the other two patients, The Oregonian reports.

The state is said to be monitoring 101 others in the state for symptoms due to their travel history or possible contact with infected people. The latest case of infection is being treated as a case of a community spread, meaning the person has no known link to the infection either from travel history or by contact with an infected person.

The other two cases included one person who lives in Oregon's Washington County but works at Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego of Clackamas County in Oregon. The second patient is a family member of the first person and is believed to have contracted the virus through household contact.

"We know that people are scared. We are learning more and more about this disease every day," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state's health officer, The Oregonian reports.

CDC confirms Florida cases

The two presumptive cases in Florida were confirmed as positive by the CDC on Monday. One of the patients is a 20-year-old woman from Hillsborough County who recently returned from a trip to northern Italy. She has been quarantined at home and is being treated there.

The other case is a man in his 60s from Manatee County who has been hospitalized with symptoms of pneumonia. Doctors have yet to determine how the man might have been infected, according to Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, Tampa Bay Times reports.

The state is reported to be monitoring at least 184 other people who are at risk of having been exposed to the virus, including anyone who has returned from China in the last 14 days, Florida's department of health states.

Those being monitored in Florida may include people who have recently traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, as well as anyone who may have lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, Tampa Bay Times reports.

As an added precautionary measure, locals in Florida who show symptoms are being asked to contact their county health department to arrange their transport to a hospital.