All 50 states in the US have been hit by the deadly coronavirus as West Virginia reported its first case of the infection on March 17.
Announcing the state’s first Covid-19 patient, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said: “We knew this was coming.”
So far, there are 108 deaths in the US from coronavirus and more than 6,300 confirmed cases nationwide.
Globally, there are 217,325 cases and 8,917 people have died as of March 18.
As the Trump administration seeks a $1 trillion stimulus package, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly warned Republican senators privately on March 17 that if Congress failed to act, US unemployment could hit 20% – almost double the jobless rate during the Great Recession after the 2008 financial crisis.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would decide within two days whether to order the city’s 8.5 million residents to “shelter in place”.
Such a move could largely confine people to their homes, while allowing them to make necessary trips to buy groceries or medicine, walk a dog or exercise as long as they avoid public interaction.
The mayor said: “It’s a very, very difficult decision.
“We’ve never been here before. I have never heard of anything like this in the history of New York City.”
However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has suggested he would reject such a plan.
Meanwhile, officials in the San Francisco Bay area have already ordered 6.7 million residents to stay home for all but the most crucial outings until April 7.