Washington state reported 108 new coronavirus cases Tuesday for a total of 1,012 — a day after Gov. Jay Inslee signed an emergency declaration shutting down bars, restricting restaurants to takeout and limiting gatherings to less than 50 people.
The state’s death toll rose to 54 as officials announced six more fatalities Tuesday, many of them from a senior care facility in Kirkland, near Seattle, Q13 FOX in Seattle reported.
“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the virus. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges,” Inslee said Monday, according to KIRO-TV.
Washington’s death toll leads the nation by far, with New York state second at 13 deaths. But New York’s total of 1,700 confirmed cases tops Washington’s.
The first reported case of coronavirus in the U.S. occurred in January in Seattle.
The man, who had returned from Wuhan, China — at the epicenter of the outbreak — tested positive in late January and later recovered after his quarantine in a hospital.
Washington now has the capacity to test more people and a local health expert recently estimated the state could have more than 10 times the reported cases, The Seattle Times reported.
More than half of the state’s reported cases and the majority of deaths are in King County, which includes Kirkland and Seattle, according to Q13 FOX.
There are more than 5,000 reported cases across the country — at least one in every state — and at least 100 deaths as of Tuesday.