The coronavirus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state, a preliminary finding that could mean hundreds of undiagnosed cases, researchers said Sunday after analyzing genetic samples from two people. Washington state, home of the nation’s first confirmed infection, saw the nation’s first death from the virus this weekend.

State and local authorities stepped up testing for the illness as the number of new cases grew nationwide, with new infections announced in Illinois, Rhode Island and Washington state. Authorities in the Seattle area said two more people had been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, both men in their 60s who were in critical condition. Those cases brought the numbers to six in Seattle’s King County.

A man in his 50s died in Washington on Saturday and health officials said 50 more people in a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, are sick and being tested for the virus. 

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