Washington state and San Francisco ban large gatherings to slow the coronavirus outbreak

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (C) addresses the press during a visit by Vice President Mike Pence to discuss concerns over the coronavirus.

Karen Ducey | Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is banning large gatherings in several counties across the state to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak that that has killed at least 23 residents, he announced Wednesday.

Moments after Inslee announced the order, San Francisco health officials announced that they are also banning gatherings of 1,000 or more to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

“I am ordering … that certain events in King, Snohomish and Pierce County with more than 250 people are prohibited by order of the governor,” Inslee said at a press conference.

Washington state is the hardest-hit state in the U.S. There are more than 267 confirmed cases across the state with 258 of those concentrated between the three counties, according to the state health commission. Inslee declared a state of emergency last month to free up funding for communities combating the outbreak.

Seattle-area officials announced Tuesday that COVID-19 has infected residents or employees of 10 long-term care facilities. So far, at least 19 of the deaths in the U.S. are tied to one such facility: The Life Care residential home in Kirkland, Washington.

This is breaking news. Check back here for updates.

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