State of Emergency Declared in Washington State Over Coronavirus

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee takes questions during a press conference about the first confirmed U.S. case of a virus known as the 2019 novel coronavirus at the state Public Health Laboratories on January 21, 2020 in Shoreline, Washington. The patient diagnosed with the virus, also known as the Wuhan …
File Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) declared a state of emergency on Saturday following the announcement of the first coronavirus-related death in his state and the nation. The governor directed all state agencies to use all resources necessary. He also authorized the use of National Guard troops.

“This will allow us to get the resources we need,” the governor said in a written statement. “This is a time to take common-sense, proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of those who live in Washington state. Our state agency directors have been actively preparing since the nation’s first case appeared in Snohomish County. Washingtonians can be assured we’ve taken this threat seriously and have been working in collaboration with our health care partners to develop plans and procedures to prepare for what could likely be a worldwide pandemic.”

President Donald Trump described the first person to die on U.S. soil from a Covid-19 infection as a man in his mid-50s with a medical history that put him in a high-risk category.

Washington officials announced on Saturday the confirmation of three new cases on Saturday in addition to the two announced Friday night, KIRO7, local news outlet, reported. The initial report does not describe how the three new patients became infected. One of the cases announced Friday is being called a possible community-spread infection.

Governor Inslee’s proclamation orders all “state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.” It also allows for the deployment of the Washington National Guard if ht becomes necessary.

In January, the Washington Military Department activated the State Emergency Operations Center at a Level 1 condition, the governor stated. This allows the highest level of communication and control to help coordinate a statewide response.

The governor said the state now has the capability to locally test for COVID-19 cases.

“This means our state can respond quickly and effectively,” Inslee concluded. “Our priority now is to slow the spread of this virus. Our health care professionals say the easiest way to do that is to practice good hygiene – wash your hands often, sanitize frequently touched surfaces and stay home when you’re sick. Preventing future cases will require the work of all of us.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Editor’s Note: The deceased patient was originally reported to be a woman. Officials in Washington state later clarified the decedent was a man. This article has been updated to reflect the new information. 

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