Public health officials on Saturday announced that a 50-year-old in Washington State is the first person in the United States that has died as a result of the coronavirus. The patient had not recently traveled. It is believed that he or she contracted the disease from "community spread," the Los Angeles Times reported.
From NBC News:
Previously much of the focus was on people who had visited places such as Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began, or who had been in close contact with people who were infected.
The patients from these four cases have no known travel history or exposure to someone who had traveled or been infected. Not all four have been confirmed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing, but they tested positive locally.
As a result of this new information, the Center for Disease Control is changing testing guidelines to include those who have symptoms but have not recently traveled.
There is a woman at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento who has the first known case of community spread in the United States.
President Donald Trump held a press conference with the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier in the day, assuring Americans that the risk for contraction still remains low.
"The country as a whole still remains at low risk but this is an evolving situation,” Dr. Fauci said. “There will be additional cases but we should not be surprised by that. The challenge is how we deal with it.”
The Trump administration is expanding a travel ban from Iran to include any foreign national who has visited the country in the last 14 days. In addition, a stage four travel warning is being put out, advising Americans not to travel to parts of Italy and South Korea.
"We are urging Americans not to travel to the areas in Italy and the areas in South Korea that are the most affected by the coronavirus," Vice President Mike Pence said during the press conference.
The State Department will also work with allies in Italy and South Korea to create medical screenings in those countries for anyone who is attempting to travel to the United States.
“We want to lower the amount of travel to and from the most impacted areas,” Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, said. "This is a basic containment strategy.”
President Trump said on Monday he will be meeting with various pharmaceutical companies to discuss vaccines.