Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

A person in Washington state has died of the new coronavirus, President Trump confirmed Saturday. The fatality marks the first reported death from the virus in the United States.

The patient who died was a man in his 50s with underlying medical conditions, according to Washington state health officials.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

As concerns increase about the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in the United States, Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz sat down with Dr. Dora Mills, former head of the Maine Center for Disease Control and now MaineHealth's chief health improvement officer, to discuss the virus's potential threat to Mainers. They talked about best practices for preventative and treatment care, as well as what symptoms actually look like.

Thomas Northcut / Getty Images via NPR

As federal health officials warn that more cases of the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus will likely erupt in the United States, health officials in Maine are preparing. Maine hospitals and the state Center for Disease Control are taking steps to identify and contain the coronavirus, should it land on Maine's doorstep.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and two other Democratic House members have expressed strong opposition to President Trump's plan to shift $37 million from LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, to help fund his plan to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public

As coronavirus in the United States becomes a more immediate concern, Maine's former Center for Disease Control head, Dora Mills, says the best things to do in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in Maine are the things Mainers do most winters: 

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Federal health officials say they have resolved a problem that has hindered wide testing for the new coronavirus in the United States, a crucial practice for fighting the spread of the dangerous new infection.

A problem with one ingredient in test kits that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributed to labs around the country had created a frustrating bottleneck in testing, requiring most testing to occur at the CDC in Atlanta.

The Maine Department of Education Wednesday sent out updated information about the new coronavirus to public schools.


President Trump is holding a news conference about coronavirus alongside CDC officials and others amid criticism of the government's response to the outbreak. Watch his remarks live.

President Trump will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon about the rapidly spreading coronavirus, as fears have sent the stock market into a spiral and Republican and Democratic leaders have questioned the administration's response.

Trump announced the event in a tweet and said it was a retort to media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC trying to "make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible."

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers have voiced dissatisfaction with the administration's response.

The Maine Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved funding for the immediate purchase of a machine at the state laboratory that can test for the coronavirus.


The rapid outbreak of coronavirus is causing serious illness and death in China and is spreading worldwide, including here in the U.S. We'll discuss the nature of this disease, why it is spreading so quickly, and what people in Maine can do to protect themselves. We will also talk about how this year's flu virus is a more immediate concern for Maine — how bad it is, why this year's cases have surged, and what is being done to address it.