Published On: Sat, Mar 14th, 2020

U.S. expands travel ban to U.K. and Ireland as cases worldwide top 150,000; House passes bill; Trump declares national emergency

Every aspect of modern life is being hit as sweeping measures are rolled out in an effort to stem the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump has declared a national emergency and the House on Saturday passed a bill to provide Americans relief. 

A growing number of places are closing their doors and events across the globe are being canceled. 

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 150,000 by mid-Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 5,700 people have died, and more than 72,000 have recovered.

President Trump announced at a press conference Saturday that he himself took a coronavirus test on Friday night — and is now awaiting the results. At the same press conference, Vice President Mike Pence said a European travel ban is being extended to Ireland and the U.K., effective at midnight on Monday.

Any American citizens in those countries will be able to fly home, he said.

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation in the middle of the night to give direct relief to Americans impacted by the spreading virus. Central to the aid package are free testing and sick pay guarantee for Americans affected. The legislation offers three months of paid family and medical leave. And small and mid-sized employers would be reimbursed through tax credits.

Voting in the Senate is not yet set, but senators were scheduled to return Monday. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects most senators will want to “act swiftly.” 

Amid the outbreak – and the mounting response — Disney World is closing. Broadway shut its doors. Schools are closing and large gatherings are being banned. The Boston Marathon and the Masters Tournament are now postponed. The NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer have suspended their seasons.  

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for detailed information on coronavirus treatment and prevention.

-Contributing: The Associated Press 

Shoppers wearing masks are faced with partially empty shelves at a supermarket in London on March 14, 2020, as consumers worry about product shortages.

Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

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