Updated Mar 11, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus cases top 1,000 as states scramble to curb the spread

A stretcher is moved from an AMR ambulance to the Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington state. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. soared to 1,037 and the death toll to at least 31 by early Wednesday, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.

The big picture: Nearly 40 states had reported cases by Tuesday and at least 12 have declared a state of emergency — Washington, California, New York, Oregon, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida and Michigan — which reported its first two cases on Tuesday evening.

Photo: Gov. Cuomo/Twitter

Coronavirus deaths: Sacramento County Public Health confirmed late Tuesday that an assisted living facility resident in their 90s "has died of complications of COVID-19," taking the number of deaths from the virus in California to three.

Zoom in: The states with the most cases are Washington (268, including 25 deaths), California (157, with two deaths and the Grand Princess cases) and New York (173).

  • Washington can expect to see case numbers soar, according to Inslee. "If we assume there are 1,000 or more people who have the virus today, what the experts are telling us ... [the numbers] will double anywhere from five to eight days," he told the news conference.
    • "If there are 1,000 people infected today, in seven or eight weeks, there could be 64,000 people infected in the state of Washington."
    • Inslee announced new measures to protect nursing homes and assisted living facilities Tuesday, including visitor restrictions and stringent screenings. He also introduced new protections for workers and businesses, entitling all state employees impacted by COVID-19 to receive additional leave and telework options.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) told a news conference Tuesday evening testing was a priority; 1,075 people had been tested and 7,675 tests were available in 18 processing labs, a 19th lab had just received the tests and the first commercial tests had begun, he said.
    • In San Francisco, city officials announced they will "provide quarantine locations for individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 and cannot self-isolate," including homeless people.
    • Among those to test positive in the state are three TSA officers at Mineta San Jose International Airport.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new emergency measures in New Rochelle, where the biggest cluster of cases are in the state, including closing schools and banning large gatherings in the area from Thursday through March 25.
  • "NY is partnering with Northwell Health to open a satellite testing facility there," he tweeted.
"We will deploy the National Guard to deliver food to homes & help clean public spaces. ... The State will work with impacted schools to ensure any child who currently depends on food assistance programs will continue to receive those benefits during this 2-week period."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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A health care worker prepares to transport a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland, Feb. 29, Kirkland, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

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Why it matters: The state is at the center of the U.S. outbreak. All six of the deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have occurred in Washington state. Four of those who died were residents of the Life Care Center in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland in King County. Several of the 18 coronavirus infections in the state are residents of the nursing home.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

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The state of play: President Trump said Tuesday it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

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Why it matters: The tri-state area has confirmed more than 150 cases, as New Jersey announced its first death on Tuesday. Cases in New Rochelle have spiked from community spread.

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