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Four more people in Washington have died of the novel coronavirus, bringing the death count in the state – and the U.S. – to six.

COVID-19 has killed more than 3,000 people globally, with more than 88,000 total confirmed cases. The vast majority of the deaths are in China, where the virus began.

The Washington State Department of Health says there have been 18 confirmed cases in the state, including the six deaths. Five of the deaths were in King County, one in Snohomish County.

"The risk of exposure is increasing for people who live in communities in Washington state with reported spread of COVID-19, though risk is still relatively low," the department said on its website.

Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman told state lawmakers Monday that $3.5 million has been spent to date combating coronavirus. He asked for an additional $100 million to help health officials combat thre spread of the virus.

In the U.S., 100 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, including 19 in California.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Saturday after the first death was reported. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also declared a public health emergency after the state's first two cases were reported.

COVID-19 is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that’s a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. He welcomes your comments. Contact Dan at

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