Washington state nursing home on lockdown after two cases of coronavirus found

March 1 (Reuters) - A nursing home near Seattle is locked down after a resident and a worker were found to have the new coronavirus, officials at the home said.

The Life Care Center of Kirkland is not accepting new patients or allowing visitors, family or vendors into the facility while officials focus on the health of the current residents and staff, center officials said in a statement late on Saturday.

"Concerned family members or responsible parties may call our facility," the release posted on its website said. "The facility is currently placing a hold on admissions as well to fully focus on our current residents and associates."

A representative for the nursing home could not be reached by Reuters on Sunday for further comment.

The two cases, announced on Saturday by Washington state officials, involve a worker who is in her 40s and in satisfactory condition and a 70-year-old woman who lived there is in serious condition.

State officials said that an additional 27 residents of the nursing home and 25 staff members are reporting symptoms of the virus, which can be similar to that of the common flu.

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The nursing home statement said members of its corporate clinical team were on site to provide extra assistance and that the home was in contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington Health Department.

In a separate case, also in Kirkland, it was announced on Saturday that a man in his 50s is the first U.S. fatality of the virus.

The patient, who was chronically ill before contracting COVID-19, died at EvergreenHealth Hospital in Kirkland, near Seattle, and officials are unsure how he was exposed to the virus, said Jeffrey Duchin, head of the Washington health department's communicable disease unit.

The fast-spreading virus has infected around 83,000 people in more than 50 countries, with about 70 cases in the United States. (Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Grant McCool)

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