With the coronavirus outbreak spreading across the country, more than half of all U.S. states have now reported cases.
As of Friday night, officials in 28 states confirmed positive tests for the coronavirus illness COVID-19. In total, more than 330 cases have been reported.
Seventeen people in the U.S. have died, including two in Florida on Friday who marked the first fatalities outside the West Coast. Most of the deaths have been in Washington state, and many are linked to a long-term care facility in King County, health officials say.
The majority of U.S. cases as of Friday night were in New York, California and Washington state.
Health officials across Washington state are bracing for more cases. Pierce County, south of Seattle and Snohomish counties, on Friday announced its first presumptive case, a man who is stable at a hospital.
“We do expect that this is only the first of other cases,” Dr. Anthony Chen, director of health in Washington state’s Pierce County, said. “… However, we’ve been prepared for this.”
Not all of the cases in which people have tested positive in local tests across the U.S. have been confirmed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tests.
Several positive cases — including Utah’s first presumptive positive case, which was announced Friday night — have been linked to recent travel on the Grand Princess cruise ship.
The ship, which was returning from a voyage to Hawaii with 2,422 guests and 1,111 employees aboard, is being held off California’s coast as testing is being done.
On Friday officials announced that 21 people, mostly crew, aboard have tested positive for COVID-19. Princess Cruises said that 45 passengers and crew had been tested in an intial phase.
In Connecticut, a hospital worker who lives in Westchester County, New York, tested positive for COVID-19, the governor said. Testing is being done but so far, there are no confirmed cases of the illness in Connecticut.
Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, Kentucky, South Carolina and Oklahoma on Friday announced their first presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Nebraska also reported its first presumptive positive case involving a state resident.
Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University’s count Friday. The illness has killed more than 3,000 people in mainland China, which is where the new outbreak began, according to China’s National Health Commission. Cases have also surged in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
Health officials have said that most people who get COVID-19 will have minor symptoms.
“It’s very easy to and tempting to say, you know, I’ll just go to work anyway,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday at a news conference about the state’s first presumptive case. “Our advice and counsel to you, if you’re sick — stay home.”