SEATTLE, WA — Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings and events with more than 250 participants in Washington's three most-populated counties, as the region works around the clock to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic Wednesday morning, meaning it is an epidemic that has spread worldwide. Nearly 20,000 cases and hundreds of deaths are connected to the virus in Italy and Iran, with thousands of additional illnesses reported among South Korea, Spain, France and Germany.

According to John Hopkins University data, more than 1,100 cases have been confirmed in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon and at least 30 people have died. Washington state accounts for 24 of those deaths, with the majority of them linked to an outbreak at a Kirkland nursing 五福彩票6688下载.

Latest: . The XFL announced the Dragons' game Sunday against the Los Angeles Wildcats would continue as planned, , at CenturyLink Field.

Don't miss the latest coronavirus updates from health and government officials in Washington. .