US coronavirus cases top 500 as Oregon joins list of states declaring emergencies

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Here are today’s key headlines:

  • Oregon becomes the latest state to declare an emergency after cases double.
  • Washington state could impose mandatory measures to contain the outbreak as deaths increase. 
  • The State Department warns against travel on cruise ships after 21 people test positive on Grand Princess.
  • The U.S. Army is restricting travel to South Korea and Italy.

Here are the latest figures on the outbreak:

  • Global cases: More than 109,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
  • Global deaths: At least 3,801, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
  • U.S. cases: At least 511, according to data compiled NBC News
  • U.S. deaths: At least 21, according to data compiled by NBC News

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the Grand Princess cruise ship, which has been idled at sea since Wednesday after passengers previously on board tested positive for COVID-19, will be brought to the port of Oakland some time Monday. The company Carnival‘s Princess Cruises previously said the ship would be brought to port Sunday, but has since revised the statement.

Newsom said that passengers who are California residents will disembark first and be moved to either local hospitals for immediate medical attention or to 14-day quarantine at a federal facility. Then the remaining passengers will disembark and be taken to Oakland airport, Newsom said, and either be repatriated or flown to one of two federal facilities for quarantine in Texas or Georgia. The more than 1,000 crew members on board the ship, he said, will be quarantined for 14 days on the ship.

Of 46 people tested, 21 have tested positive for COVID-19, Newsom previously said. He added that 788 people have now been tested, though he did not discuss the results of those tests. — Feuer

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. now stands at 511, according to data compiled by NBC News, and there are at least 21 deaths attributable to the virus. 

Washington state is the worst hit, with at least 116 confirmed cases and 18 fatalities. New York has identified 106 cases and California has confirmed 102 people who have tested positive.

Oregon joined a growing number states to declare emergencies to contain the virus after the state’s confirmed cases doubled to 14. New York declared a state of emergency on Saturday.  

California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah and Washington have also declared emergencies. Pennsylvania has issued a disaster declaration and the city of Austin, Texas has issued a local disaster declaration. — Kimball

The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus, a federal official told The Associated Press.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan as a way of trying to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed, said the official who had direct knowledge of the plan. Trump administration officials have since suggested certain people should consider not traveling, but have stopped short of the stronger guidance sought by the CDC.

The person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity did not have authorization to talk about the matter. The person did not have direct knowledge about why the decision to kill the language was made or who made the call. —Associated Press

New York City could have 100 or more coronavirus cases in coming weeks, up from 13 now, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “That pace is going to pick up due to community spread,” de Blasio told a news conference. “At some point, we could easily be hundreds of cases.” —Feuer


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