Although the number keeps changing at every hour, the US is now up to over 100 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, the state of Washington is reporting eight deaths as a result of this deadly virus. The majority of the deaths have been residents of the Life Care long-term healthcare facility located in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland.
According to the New York Times, as cases continue to climb, health officials are racing to make the testing devices more readily available. US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said that the country is on track to be able to test approximately one million people by the end of this week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been criticized for the low availability of the testing kits.
In a bit of good news, the CDC announced on Tuesday that 127 people have been released from their mandatory 14-day quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Included in this group are 125 people who had been passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
On a global scale, Italy, South Korea, and Iran continue to be particularly hit hard. As of Tuesday, 79 people have lost their lives in Italy due to the virus with the total number of cases now over 2,500. In a pre-emptive move designed to contain the spread of the virus, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced on Tuesday that many professional sporting events in the country will now play with no spectators in attendance.
On a positive note, the World Health Organization (WHO) is certain that they are seeing a consistent decline in the virus in China since the number peaked in late January. China is being credited for instituting mandatory quarantines and aggressive school and business closures in their attempt to stem the spread of the illness.
The US stock markets continue to flounder because of the economic impacts of the coronavirus. The Federal Reserve stepped in on Tuesday, announcing an emergency interest rate cut of half of a percentage point.