The number of deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. has climbed to 19, nearly all of them in Washington state.
Two people have died in Florida, one in California and 16 in Washington state as hundreds of cases of infection have been reported around the country.
Worldwide, more than 100,000 people have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University. Huge swathes of Italy have been locked down and health experts are continuing to urge people to practice preventative measures, such as routine hand-washing, in order to avoid COVID-19.
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Majority of South Korean cases linked to secretive church, health director says
More than 60 percent of the cases in South Korea can be linked to a secretive church at the center of South Korea's outbreak, the deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said Saturday.
The Korea Center for Disease Control said that the number of confirmed cases had risen by 448 to 7,041. Two more people had died from the respiratory illness, bringing the total number of COVID-19 linked deaths to 46.
South Korea — which has one of the worst outbreaks outside of China — has seen a spike in cases since mid-February when a 61-year-old woman known as "Patient 31" tested positive after attending religious services at a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu.
Lee Man-hee, the founder of the church, apologized earlier this week, calling the epidemic a "great calamity."
Cruise ship passengers learned of coronavirus infections from TV, not the ship
Downtown Seattle Starbucks employee tests positive
A downtown Seattle Starbucks was closed and deep cleaned overnight after a worker was diagnosed with the coronavirus illness COVID-19, the company’s executive vice president said in a statement Friday.
"Late last night, we learned one of our store partners at our 1st & University store in downtown Seattle was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home for a period of time," Rossann Williams said in a message to partners.
City officials have encouraged the company to reopen the store after further preventative cleaning.
King County, where Seattle is located, has had 58 cases of COVID-19.
Florida announces two coronavirus deaths
Florida health officials said late Friday two people have died from coronavirus in the Sunshine State.
One of the deaths, in Lee County on the Gulf Coast, was one of three new "presumptive positive" cases, the Florida Department of Health said. The Centers for Disease Control has yet to confirm the virus testing done by state labs in these cases.
Another death was a "previously announced case" in Santa Rosa County, near Pensacola, that declined, officials said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday the Santa Rosa County man was believed to be older than 70 with underlying health conditions. He had traveled internationally, he said.
"He’s not in shape to fully answer all the questions," the governor said, "so there’s an investigation ongoing."
The deaths bring the nationwide number of fatalities blamed on coronavirus to 17.