New York, Virginia, Louisiana confirm first coronavirus-related deaths, US death toll rises above 50

Posted at 11:30 AM, Mar 14, 2020

Louisiana, New York and Virginia announced their first deaths related to the novel coronavirus outbreak on Saturday as the U.S. death toll crept above 51.

New York state announced two deaths on Saturday. In the morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that an 82-year-old woman with underlying health issues died of the virus on Friday.

"The context is very important. This was an 82-year-old woman who had an underlying respiratory illness, emphysema, for which she had been hospitalized for previously," Cuomo said. "She then contracted the coronavirus on top of the emphysema, and she passed."

Later on Saturday, the Rockland County Chief Medical Examiner confirmed that a 65-year-old with significant health issues had died on Thursday.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also confirmed Saturday that a man in his seventies was the first person in the state to die of COVID-19. That patient was in his 70s.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards confirmed his state's first coronavirus-related death on Saturday, saying a 58-year-old with underlying health issues from the New Orleans area had died.

New York's and Virginia's announcements come a day after Kansas and Colorado announced their first coronavirus-related deaths in their states on Thursday.

Across the country, more than 2,500 people have contracted the disease, with the death toll reaching 51.