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Washington governor declares state of emergency over virus

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Posted at 4:10 PM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 16:10:47-05

The governor of Washington state declared a state of emergency Saturday after a man died there of COVID-19, marking the first such reported death in the United States.

Gov. Jay Inslee directed state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.

The declaration also allows the use of the Washington National Guard, if necessary.

Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington state worried about the novel coronavirus spreading through West Coast communities after confirming at least three patients were infected by unknown means.

The patients had not visited an area where there was an outbreak, nor apparently been in contact with anyone who had.