California governor declares state of emergency over coronavirus

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomThe fog of war Overnight Health Care: White House goes public with attacks on Fauci | Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations | Federal judges block abortion ban laws in Tennessee, Georgia Newsom orders California to shut down indoor activities, all bar operations MORE (D) on Wednesday declared a state of emergency after the first death from coronavirus in the Golden State.

“The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” Newsom said in a statement Wednesday. “This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.”

The man, an elderly resident of Placer County with underlying health conditions, died in isolation at a hospital in Roseville on Wednesday morning after likely being exposed to the virus on a cruise from San Francisco to Mexico in February.

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The emergency proclamation includes anti-price gouging provisions as well as provisions allowing for health care workers to travel from out of state to provide assistance in health care facilities. It comes the day after Newsom announced the release of millions of N95 masks amid shortages caused by the virus.

California has confirmed 53 cases of the virus as of Wednesday afternoon. Officials have said their "preliminary understanding" is that the patient who died Wednesday had "minimal community exposure" between the cruise and his hospitalization.

The death was reported as Washington state confirmed its 10th coronavirus death, with the total number of confirmed cases at 39 as of Wednesday. Nine of the deaths occurred in King County.