California’s first coronavirus fatality — an elderly patient who apparently contracted the illness on a cruise — prompted the governor Wednesday to declare a statewide emergency as six new cases, including a medical screener at Los Angeles International Airport, were confirmed. The measure made California the third U.S. state to declare a state of emergency, after Washington and Florida. Hawaii joined them Wednesday, with no cases there yet and the governor saying an emergency declaration would help them prepare for a possible outbreak. California has 53 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the emergency proclamation is intended to help procure supplies and resources quickly. He announced the move Wednesday afternoon during a news conference, hours after the patient’s death in Placer County was announced. Newsom said the state is particularly focused on senior centers, nursing homes and other care facilities where people live together in light of the outbreak in Washington state that has already killed 10 there.
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