First U.S. death from coronavirus reported in Washington state

The Washington Department of Health confirmed Saturday the first coronavirus-related death in the United States, a King County man in his 50s.

The man who later died arrived at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland with “serious respiratory issues” and later tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus), King County Public Health said. Officials said the man also had underlying health conditions, although they declined to say what the conditions were, citing patient privacy.

“It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to their family and friends. We will continue to work toward a day where no one dies from this virus.”

The man had no history of travel or contact with a known coronavirus case, meaning the case was acquired through “community transmission” in the Seattle area, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.