March 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of sweeping legislation to provide $8.3 billion in aid in response to the coronavirus outbreak, as new cases were reported in Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The 96-1 bipartisan vote provides $7.8 billion in funding to go directly toward fighting the virus and another $500 million to create a telehealth program.
The final price tag on the bill is more than three times what President Donald Trump requested -- $2.5 billion. The House passed the bill Wednesday in a 415-2 vote. The legislation will now head to the Oval Office for the president's signature.
Hours after the vote, King County, Wash., health officials confirmed the country's 12th American death from COVID-19. The woman in her 90s died Tuesday at EvergreenHealth hospital. She was previously reported as among those diagnosed with the virus.
All but one of the U.S. deaths have been from the Seattle area, where an outbreak has hit residents and staff of a long-term care facility. The one outside Seattle was in Placer County, Calif.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Thursday update reported 149 cases in the country. Johns Hopkins University, which is monitoring the outbreak using data from state and local health agencies, reported 177 confirmed cases.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday the number of confirmed coronavirus cases there had increased to 22, with eight in Westchester County and one in Nassau County, just outside New York City, and two in the city.
Texas announced its first case late Wednesday, and Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, North Carolina and Tennessee each reported their first cases on Thursday. At least 18 states have reported infections.
Late Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced the state's first positive cases of COVID-19 and declared a state of emergency to hasten its response to the infectious disease.
"In order to further mobilize all available state resources in response to this threat to public health, I have issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maryland," he said in a press conference. "With this declaration, I am officially authorizing and directing the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to ramp up coordination among all state and local agencies and enable them to fast-track coordination with our state and local health departments and emergency management teams."
The declaration came in the wake of the state diagnosing three people, an individual in their 50s and a married couple in their 70s, with COVID-19, all in Montgomery County. They have been placed under quarantine, were in "good condition" and cooperating, Hogan said, adding they were infected with the virus while traveling overseas.
"While this news is serious, I want to again remind everyone this is exactly what our state has been actively and aggressively been preparing for for many weeks now," he said.
Health workers have begun coronavirus testing passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom banned the ship from docking in the state after a passenger who was previously on the ship died from the coronavirus.
Officials on the ship said nearly 100 passengers exhibited symptoms indicating they need to be tested for the virus. A California Air National Guard helicopter transported the tests and CDC personnel on board the ship to conduct the testing.
The ship's captain told his 3,500 passengers the test results should be returned about 5 hours after they're completed. In the meantime, the casino and all group activities were canceled.
Newsom also announced he has directed all commercial and Medical health plans regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care to reduce cost-sharing to zero for all necessary screening and testing for COVID-19. Costs for emergency rooms, urgent care or provider office visits will be waived if they are required to test for the coronavirus.
Vice President Mike Pence, head of the White House coronavirus task force, told reporters Thursday afternoon that while the United States is manufacturing and sending out more coronavirus test kits to health facilities nationwide, there aren't enough.
"We don't have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward," he said during a briefing phone call.
"For those who we believe have been exposed, for those who are showing symptoms, we've been able to provide the testing. But as more Americans take an interest in this or have concerns about this, we want to make sure they have access to a coronavirus test as well, and we've made real progress on that in the last several days."
Pence traveled to Washington state Thursday evening to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee and tour the state's emergency operations center. During a press conference, Pence said the CDC is working to increase widespread testing for the virus.
Pence, speaking with Inslee, said the federal agency has the capability to test some 1.2 million Americans with priority to be focused on Washington and California, the two states worst affected by the coronavirus.
He added that an additional 4 million tests should be available by the end of next week.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said there will be enough tests shipped by the end of the week for 75,000 people to be tested in the United States.
Facebook has closed its Seattle office through Monday after a contractor tested positive for COVID-19, the company said in a statement. But employees are encouraged to work from home until the end of March.
Amazon has recommended that its Seattle employees work from home through March after it confirmed earlier this week that an employee tested positive for the virus. Two other Amazon employees were diagnosed in Milan, Italy.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society on Thursday canceled its global health conference, scheduled to start Monday at the Orlando Convention Center in Florida.
The World Health Organization reported 2,055 new cases of the virus by Thursday, for a total of 95,265 cases worldwide, 80,409 of them in China, where the outbreak began in Wuhan.
Seventy-six countries have reported at least one case, but only a handful -- including the United States -- have reported community spread, meaning the patients have no known connection to people or places with the virus.
Neither of the new cases in New York -- a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s -- have a connection with or history of travel to a known area affected by the outbreak. They also were not among known "close contacts" of any of the state's previously diagnosed COVID-19 patients.
This suggests that there may be new instances of community spread in New York City, de Blasio said on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday. The city's public health department is tracing the close contacts of both new patients to ensure they are appropriately isolated and tested.