Two more people succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Washington state, officials said on Saturday, bringing the nationwide toll to 19, while the number of confirmed cases in New York jumped by 21 overnight and a cruise ship with infected passengers remained stranded outside San Francisco.
More than half of all US states have reported cases of the coronavirus, which originated in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19.
As the outbreak takes root, daily life has become increasingly disrupted, with concerts and conferences canceled and universities telling students to stay home and take classes online.
The two latest deaths were in Washington’s King County, the hardest hit area in the United States after the virus spread among residents at a nursing facility in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland. A team of health workers from the US Public Health Service arrived at the beleaguered LifeCare nursing home on Saturday. The first deaths on the East Coast were announced on Friday, with two people succumbing in Florida.
Out in the international waters off California, passengers on a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco after some aboard tested positive for the novel coronavirus did not know on Saturday when they might be able to step ashore.
President Donald Trump said on Friday he would prefer the Grand Princess’s 2,400 passengers and 1,100 crew remain out at sea, but that he would let others decide where she should dock.