8th U.S. case of coronavirus confirmed in Massachusetts; U.S. declares a public health emergency and will bar some foreign nationals from entering the country


A University of Massachusetts-Boston student was confirmed Saturday to be the eighth case of coronavirus in the United States, one day after U.S. officials declared a public health emergency. On Sunday, the first death outside of China was reported in the Philippines. 

In China, there are 14,411 confirmed cases as of Sunday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As a result of U.S. declaration, foreign nationals who have traveled to China in the last two weeks and aren’t immediate family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents will be temporarily banned from entering the U.S., according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Azar also announced that anyone entering the U.S. who has been in China’s Hubei province in the last two weeks will be subject to a two-week quarantine. 

On Friday, U.S. health officials issued a federal quarantine order for the 195 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. The group will remain at a military base in Southern California until mid-February, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The government hasn’t issued such a quarantine order in over 50 years, Messonnier said.

The State Department has warned Americans to avoid all travel to China due to the “rapidly spreading” outbreak. The decision came after the World Health Organization designated the outbreak a global public health emergency.

As of Sunday, the flu-like virus had killed at least 304 people, all of them in China, according to the WHO.


Passengers wear protective masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as they arrive on a flight from Asia at Los Angeles International Airport on January 29, 2020. 

Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

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