West Virginia became the 50th state to report a case of the deadly novel coronavirus when Gov. Jim Justice announced the first positive test result Tuesday.
The announcement comes just after the death toll from the virus in the United States passed 100. Illinois reported its first death Tuesday, becoming one of 18 states to report the death of a resident who died from the virus in the pandemic.
While the White House has suggested limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer, state and local officials are giving orders for an altered American reality as the number of coronavirus cases across the United States surpasses 5,800.
Public health officials say the US has reached a tipping point — warning that if residents don’t take the call to action seriously, the country may approach the situation in Italy, which went on lockdown last week and where hospitals have been overwhelmed with more than 31,000 cases.
President Donald Trump announced a plan to send money to Americans immediately to ease the economic shock from the coronavirus crisis and said military-style hospitals will likely be deployed to virus hot zones to care for patients.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, appearing with Trump in the White House press briefing room, said he was talking with congressional leaders on a plan to send checks immediately to displaced Americans. Trump said some people should get $1,000.
He also urged Americans not to travel and said he had not ruled out travel restrictions to parts of the country. He told Americans to just “enjoy their living room.”