The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 11 on Wednesday with a victim succumbing in California — the nation’s first reported fatality outside Washington state. Officials in Placer County, northwest of Sacramento, said an elderly person who tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday after returning from a San Francisco-Mexico cruise had died. The victim had underlying health conditions, authorities said.
As officials, schools and businesses came under pressure to respond more aggressively to the outbreak, Washington state also announced another death, bringing its total to 10. Most of those who died were residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, a suburb east of Seattle. At least 31 cases have been reported in the Seattle area, where researchers say the virus may have been circulating undetected for weeks.
Some individual schools and businesses in Washington have closed, with schools considering whether to plan for online classes in the event of prolonged shutdowns. Washington state and Seattle have declared emergencies, which gives leaders broad powers to suspend activities. But so far no direct orders have been issued.