Two members of Congress have quarantined themselves. Six states have declared a state of emergency. Seattle is under siege.
The coronavirus showed no signs of slowing its spread across the United States over the weekend, with confirmed cases surpassing 550 across 34 states and the District of Columbia ahead of a Princess Cruises ship making land in California sometime Monday with 21 infected people.
The U.S. death toll rose to 21 on Sunday, while the worldwide total approached 4,000.
Iowa was the latest state to report its first encounter with coronavirus, with Gov. Kim Reynolds announcing three presumptive positive cases. All three people were on a cruise through Egypt and are now isolated at home, Reynolds told reporters.
Another cruise ship will top Monday’s headlines. The Grand Princess, which has been floating off the California coast for days, will dock at the Port of Oakland and all American passengers will be routed to military bases in California, Texas or Georgia for a 14-day quarantine.
Daily coronavirus updates: Get USA TODAY’s Daily Briefing in your inbox
Non-American travelers will be routed back to their home countries in charters, which will be located in a part of the Oakland airport not accessible to the public.
“We will have you home soon, and I know this is a very difficult time for you, another 14 days for many of you to be quarantined,’’ California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a Sunday news conference. “But it’s all about not only your safety but your family members and your community when you come back home.’’
John Redd, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said no new cases of coronavirus have been detected on the ship since the results of Thursday’s tests, but more would be known later in the day when mobile medical teams went on board to do an assessment.
Redd said he just returned from Japan, where he was part of the group that worked last month on the Diamond Princess quarantine, which lasted two weeks off the coast of Yokohama. More than 700 of the 3,711 aboard that ship were infected, and six died.
However, Redd said there are several differences between the two scenarios.
“The primary one, I would say, is time,’’ Redd said, pointing out this time passengers are not getting quarantined on the ship. “In fact, quite the opposite. We are making every effort to get them rapidly and safely off the ship, and then transported safely to a location for quarantine.’’
Here’s the latest on the outbreak of COVID-19:
Department of State warns US citizens against traveling by cruise ship
The U.S. Department of State on Sunday advised U.S. citizens against traveling by cruise ship as cases of coronavirus continue to be diagnosed throughout the world.
“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship,” the State Department wrote, also warning against long airplane trips and crowded places.
The warning comes with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that includes tips for people who do choose to travel by cruise ship — including avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and clearning your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or by using an 60-95% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
– Jordan Culver
Oregon declares state of emergency, joining five other states
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on Sunday to slow the spread of coronavirus after the number of confirmed cases there doubled to 14.
The Beaver State’s emergency declaration came a day after New York did the same, joining California, Florida, Maryland and Washington.
“We will do everything in our power to keep Oregonians safe,” Brown said at a news conference.
Coronavirus is spreading in the US:CorHere’s everything to know, from symptoms to how to protect yourself
Falling oil prices add to coronavirus worries on Asian stock markets
Asian stock markets plunged Monday after oil prices nosedived on worries of a global economy weakened by a virus outbreak might be awash in too much crude.
Tokyo’s benchmark tumbled 6.2%, while Sydney fell 6.1%. Seoul sank 4.4% and Hong Kong lost 3.9%. Shares also sank in Middle East trading on Sunday.
Oil markets were roiled by a dispute among Saudi Arabia, Russia and other producers over how much to cut output to prop up prices.
“The underlying global markets tone remains negative, as Italy has moved to quarantine one-quarter of its population,” said Tai Hui of J.P. Morgan Asset Management in a report. Meanwhile, he said, “OPEC’s cooperation with Russia to support oil prices appears to have hit a major roadblock.”
Anxiety also rose after Italy announced it was isolating cities and towns with some 16 million people – or more than one quarter of its population.
How many are sick, how many have died?
The global death toll was at 3,826 as of early Monday, fueled by a rising number of fatalities in Italy (366), Iran (194) and South Korea (50), according to a Johns Hopkins University data dashboard.
The total of confirmed cases surpassed 110,000 on Sunday, with more than 80,700 in mainland China, where the virus has killed about 3,100 people.
Map: Which states have coronavirus cases?
Here’s a look at which states have reported cases of COVID-19:
Contributing: Jorge Ortiz, USA TODAY; The Associated Press