The U.S. death toll from coronavirus reached 100 on Tuesday, less than three weeks after a nursing home resident in Washington became the pandemic’s first victim in the country.
Deaths have been recorded across the United States as 12 have died in California, and 10 in New York. Smaller states like South Dakota and Kansas have also recorded fatalities.
The majority of deaths have occurred in Washington, largely due to an outbreak that hit a nursing home outside Seattle. A resident at that facility died Feb. 29, becoming the nation’s first fatality. The U.S.’s first positive case of coronavirus was recorded in Washington on Jan. 21.
According to a Washington Post analysis, 85 percent of victims were 60 years or older. Forty-five percent were older than 80, while a third lived in nursing homes.
Coronavirus, also called COVID-19, has hit elderly populations and people with underlying health conditions hardest. Government officials have advised people older than 65 or with health problems to stay away from large crowds, and remain at home if possible.
The White House coronavirus task force has also recommended that people not gather in crowds larger than 10, and to stay away from restaurants and bars. State and local governments across the U.S. have ordered restaurants, bars, schools, and churches to close to limit crowd sizes.
As of Tuesday, nearly 6,000 Americans have tested positive for coronavirus, though experts believe many more people are walking around with the virus without knowing it.
Nearly 200,000 people across the globe have tested positive, with the highest number recorded in China, where coronavirus originated. Nearly 7,900 people have died so far, according to a database maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
The number of cases and deaths are unlikely to subside anytime soon.
“Bottom line: it’s going to get worse,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease scientist on the White House task force, told Congress on March 11.
He added: “I can say we will see more cases, and things will get worse than they are right now.”