WASHINGTON — The Senate has passed an $8.3 billion measure to fund efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Meanwhile, a cruise ship remains off the coast of California amid concerns its passengers may have been exposed to the virus.
As of Thursday afternoon, 12 people in the U.S. have died from the virus. Of the deaths, 11 were in Washington state. According to a global counter by John Hopkins University, nearly 200 people in the U.S. have been infected.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak for Thursday, March 5:
Pence on Washington outbreak: 'America's hearts are with you'
Vice President Mike Pence is in Washington state to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee and address the coronavirus outbreak. His visit comes as 11 people have died in Washington. The state's 70 cases are the most in the U.S.
Pence said that more than 5 million coronavirus testing kits will be rolled out next week.
The vice president toured the state's emergency response center and told workers, “We know you're the front line." Earlier, Pence called on members of the public to hold off on buying face masks unless they're sick, saying health professionals need the masks more. And he said the U.S. has made “real progress” in addressing a shortage of coronavirus test kits.
Maryland confirms three cases, the state's first
Gov. Larry Hogan's office said on Thursday in a statement that three people in Maryland are confirmed to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The state’s Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore has confirmed the first three positive cases of novel coronavirus in Maryland," the statement read. "The patients, who contracted the virus while traveling overseas, are in good condition."
11th death in Washington state
Officials in Washington state confirmed an 11th patient in Washington state has died from the coronavirus. The overall U.S. death toll from coronavirus now stands at 12.
Senate vote sends $8.3 billion bill to Trump to fight virus
The Senate has passed an $8.3 billion measure to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak in hopes of reassuring a fearful public and accelerating the government's response. The money would pay for a multifaceted attack on a virus that is spreading more widely every day, sending financial markets spiraling, disrupting travel and potentially threatening the U.S. economy's decade-long expansion. Thursday's sweeping vote sends the bill to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature. The plan would more than triple the $2.5 billion amount outlined by the White House 10 days ago.
60 people infected with coronavirus in Washington state
Ten people have died and another 60 people have tested positive for the virus in Washington state, bringing the total case count to 70, according to the Washington State Department of Health. 51 people have tested positive in King County, 18 in Snohomish County and one in Grant County. Nine of the 10 deaths occured in King County, where Seattle is located.
A school district north of Seattle with 22,000 students announced it will close for up to two weeks due to concerns over the virus.
All 26 schools in the Northshore School District will be closed for up to two weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect vulnerable staff members, the district's superintendent said in a letter to parents. The district is largely in Bothell, Washington, 20 miles north of Seattle.
Northshore School District superintendent Michelle Reid said school officials will consult with health authorities on further recommendations.
Confirmed cases in New York state doubles overnight, total now 22
The number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in New York state has doubled overnight, from 11 to 22.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the figures Thursday. The newly diagnosed cases include two hospitalized patients in New York City and a hospitalized man in Long Island’s Nassau County.
The other positive tests were in people with mild symptoms — or none at all — in Westchester County, where a cluster of cases emerged earlier in the week. One of the previously diagnosed patients from Westchester County has been hospitalized.
Cruise ship held off California coast for virus testing
Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials have ordered a cruise ship to hold off the California coast to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected. A Coast Guard helicopter is expected to deliver test kits to the Grand Princess once it reaches the waters off San Francisco later in the day. Princess Cruises says fewer than 100 of those aboard have been identified for testing. According to the Associated Press, the ship has a capacity of 3,650 passengers and crew.
On Wednesday, March 4, Newsom declared a statewide emergency due to the virus threat, making California the third state to do so.
A northern california resident died from complications of the virus, known as COVID-19. The individual, who was described as an "elderly adult with underlying health conditions," was the first coronavirus death recorded outside of Washington State.
First case of COVID-19 detected in Tennessee
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday the state has its first confirmed case of the virus. Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said the 44-year-old man was isolated at home with very mild symptoms. The patient had traveled on a nonstop, round-trip flight between Boston, Mass., and the Nashville International Airport about four or five days ago.
We are working closely with local health care partners to identify contacts and contain spread of this disease in our communities,” Piercey said. “We’ve been anticipating identification of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee. At this time, the overall risk to the general public remains low. We are continuing to work with the CDC and other agencies to provide guidance to Tennesseans to protect their health.”
Airlines could lose $113 billion in coronavirus outbreak
he International Air Transport Association says the virus outbreak that began in China could cost airlines as much as $113 billion in lost revenue due to the collapse of air travel.
Representatives of the airline industry group said Thursday after a working meeting in Singapore that the industry urgently needs help from governments in waiving some requirements and fees to alleviate the burden on struggling carriers.
An earlier estimate just two weeks ago put the potential cost of the downturn in travel at less than $30 billion.
Animals can't pass coronavirus to humans, but can test positive
Pet cats and dogs cannot pass the new coronavirus to humans, but they can test positive for low levels of the pathogen if they catch it from their owner.
That's the conclusion of Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and other experts after a dog in quarantine tested weakly positive for the virus in samples from its nose and mouth.
Researchers believe the dog has a low-level of infection and it is “likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission," according to the Associated Press.
The agricultural department said it found no evidence that pets were a source of infection or could get sick themselves with the COVID-19 illness. It suggested, however, that pets from a household of an infected person be quarantined.
Global markets slide again on enduring concern over virus
Stocks are sliding more than 3% on Wall Street, at one point cutting another 1,000 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as fear about a fast-spreading virus once again grips markets. Thursday's drop nearly wiped out the surge of 4.5% the day earlier. Treasury yields sank again toward more record lows as investors plowed money into low-risk investments. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, a benchmark for mortgages, fell to 0.92%. Markets have been stuck on an up-and-down roller coaster for weeks because of uncertainty about how much damage the outbreak of the new coronavirus will do to the global economy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.