In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Thursday that three positive coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, and that the patients contracted the virus while traveling overseas. They are quarantined in their homes in Montgomery County, a suburb of about 1 million people outside Washington, D.C.
California is also under a state of emergency, and a cruise ship carrying some 2,500 passengers was held off the coast for coronavirus testing.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 970 points Thursday as the outlook for the outbreak worsens.
Here are the latest developments:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is focused on getting testing kits to Washington state — the “tip of the spear” in fighting infections, the CDC’s director said — and California, where one death was confirmed Wednesday.
- Vice President Pence said Medicare and Medicaid will now cover the testing and vowed that officials will work to ensure it is deemed an “essential health benefit” covered in the private health insurance of every American.
- The Senate voted nearly unanimously to approve $8.3 billion in emergency spending for combating the coronavirus outbreak, sending the measure to the White House.
- China remains the worst-hit country overall, with deaths surpassing 3,000 and confirmed cases reaching 80,552. But the epidemic is now slowing in China, while other countries are reporting more outbreaks as more people get tested.
- Despite concerns that more than 80 countries are grappling with cases, the director general of the World Health Organization said it is encouraged that the number of cases in South Korea and China appear to be declining.