US Coronavirus Death Toll Hits 300 as More States Urge Residents to Stay Home

US Coronavirus Death Toll Hits 300 as More States Urge Residents to Stay Home

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - More than 300 people in the United States have now died from coronavirus, as the illness tightens its grip on the country and prompts fears of widespread shortages of medical supplies.

As of Saturday night, a total of 323 people infected with the disease have died. Minnesota reported its first death while Washington had the highest number of deaths at 94, followed by 70 deaths in New York, according to CNN's tally.

A number of private companies joined the government's efforts to restock masks, ventilators and other supplies while the US Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the first rapid diagnostic test that could detect the disease in approximately 45 minutes.

Millions of people in five states were spending their first full weekend at home as states ramped up restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread. The number of cases is now surpassing 25,000 nationwide.

As Californians adjusted to their new normal, Gov. Gavin Newsom urged younger residents to avoid visiting beaches.

"Be a good neighbor, be a good citizen," Newsom said. "(It's) time to recognize it's not only about the old folks, it's about your impact in their lives. Don't be selfish."

A few hours earlier, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had warned younger people of the risk after 54% of the more than 10,000 confirmed cases in the states were individuals between the ages of 18 and 49.

"You're not Superman and you're not Superwoman," the governor said. "You can get this virus and you can transfer the virus and you can wind up hurting someone who you love."

California and New York are among a handful of states that have urged nonessential workers to stay home in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, alleviate stress on the health-care system and preserve dwindling medical supplies.

The most recent state to enact such a measure was New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy announced a statewide "stay at home" order, closing nonessential retail businesses and asking residents to stay home until further notice. The order, effective at 9 p.m. ET Saturday, also prohibits gatherings and asks individuals to practice social distancing.

"We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact," the governor said in a news release, "and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes."

Similar measures have been announced in Illinois and Connecticut, directing nonessential workers to stay home, though each state provides for certain exceptions, such as visiting grocery stories, pharmacies or healthcare facilities, among others.

Those restrictions followed similar directives issued by state and local leaders urging residents to stay put and limiting bars and restaurants to take-out and delivery services.

"Every state will head this way," CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem said Friday. "People need to prepare themselves that this gets harder before this gets easier."

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