Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) each declared a state of emergency on Tuesday over the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re going to get through this together, but the actions we take in the next few days and weeks will determine the trajectory of coronavirus in Colorado,” Polis said.
Polis also called for an increase in the number of people who are being tested for the deadly illness outbreak in the state and urged those who are 60-years-old and older to avoid public gatherings.
“Testing more people is a very good thing. It’s crucial to slowing the spread of the virus and ensuring those who have tested positive and need to isolate have support,” he said. “The more people we test and the sooner we do it, the better chance we have at successful containment.”
As of Tuesday, Colorado has confirmed 12 coronavirus cases, per data via the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
North Carolina has confirmed it has 7 coronavirus cases after five more individuals came down with the illness after attending a Biogen corporate conference.
“We’ve analyzed the situation using available data and science. We’ve discussed options with health experts, business leaders and emergency management here and in other states. The new cases and the advice of these experts have led us to give new guidance to North Carolina residents and to declare a state of emergency for our state,” Cooper told reporters at a news briefing.
“Our most important work is keeping people healthy and safe,” he added.
The virus has infected over 700 people in the U.S. and killed at least 27, with one state after another recording its first infections in quick succession. New Jersey reported ts first coronavirus death Tuesday. Worldwide, nearly 120,000 have been infected and over 4,200 have died.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. Most people recover in a matter of weeks, as has happened with three-quarters of those infected in mainland China.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.