California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency this week following the state’s first confirmed death from COVID-19. The patient, age 71, had underlying health issues and had recently taken a cruise to Mexico on the Grand Princess.
The cruise ended on February 21st, when the Grand Princess docked in San Francisco to pick up thousands of passengers for a round-trip cruise to Hawaii. The ship is currently anchored off the coast of California, where all passengers and crew present for both cruises are being tested for COVID-19.
The Grand Princess is owned by Carnival, whose ship Diamond Princess was quarantined off the coast of Japan last month after several passengers tested positive for COVID-19.
Florida and Washington State also declared states of emergency this week, a move that will allow officials to expedite the distribution of resources across states if the outbreak becomes severe.
Overall, there have been 150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 11 deaths.
Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the US outbreak response, said this week that any US resident could be tested for COVID-19 if requested by a doctor.
For uninsured Americans, that could cost as much as $1,000.