2 die from coronavirus in Florida, raising US death toll to 17

The newly identified virus was first detected in December in Wuhan, China.

March 6, 2020, 10:55 PM

More than 95,000 people around the world have been infected by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, and more than 3,200 have died.

The newly identified virus was first detected in December in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the global outbreak. The virus, known officially as COVID-19, has since spread to every continent except Antarctica, and the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency. South Korea, Italy and Iran have the highest national totals of confirmed cases behind China, respectively.

In the United States, at least 249 confirmed cases have been detected through the local public health system. There are an additional 70 Americans diagnosed with the virus who were either repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, were evacuated from Wuhan on a U.S. government-chartered plane or diagnosed on board the Grand Princess cruise ship anchored off San Francisco. So far, at least 17 Americans infected with the virus have died.

The states reporting cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

Today's biggest developments:

  • U.S. death toll from coronavirus at 17
  • 21 test positive for coronavirus on Grand Princess cruise
  • The SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, is canceled
  • American tourist becomes 1st confirmed case in Bhutan
  • Tech giants tell staff to work from home as employees contract virus
  • Vatican reports 1st positive case
  • Here's how Friday's news unfolded. All times Eastern.

    10:33 p.m. 2 die of coronavirus in Florida

    Two residents have died of coronavirus in Florida, the state's department of health said late Friday, marking 17 in the country.

    The Florida Department of Health announced three new cases, two in Broward County and one in Lee County. Officials said the person in Lee County died.

    A second person died from a previously announced case in Santa Rosa County.

    The two deaths in Florida are the first on the U.S.'s East Coast. The other 15 deaths were in Washington (14) and California (one).

    The two people in Broward County, in South Florida, are both "isolated," officials said. Their conditions were not released.

    5:52 p.m. 21 people test positive on Grand Princess cruise ship

    Vice President Mike Pence announced in a press conference at the White House that 21 people on board the Grand Princess -- a cruise ship anchored off San Francisco -- have tested positive for coronavirus.

    There were 46 people tested on the ship as they felt symptoms, with 19 crew members and two passengers testing positive.

    Test kits were flown to the cruise ship on Thursday to test passengers, many of whom are especially at risk due to being in their 60s and 70s.

    Dr. Deborah Birx, coronavirus response coordinator for the White House, said a "comprehensive approach" would be taken to "make sure their health and welfare is addressed."

    PHOTO: In this photo taken on Feb. 11, 2020, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco.
    In this photo taken on Feb. 11, 2020, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco.
    Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP

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