The states of Massachusetts and Colorado both declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as they looked to tackle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Declaring the emergency, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker said it would help the state control the spread of the virus better.
"This declaration will give our administration more flexibility to respond to this evolving outbreak," Baker said, according to NBC Boston.
Baker added that all work-related travel for the state executive branch employees would be discontinued starting Wednesday, and the employees have also been advised to avoid any personal international travel.
All conferences or other large gatherings involving the executive branch would also need to be canceled or held online.
At least 92 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Massachusetts at press time, and no death has been reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
"The purpose of moving forward with these measures now is to act before the numbers increase to a point where the virus spread is severely impacting the Commonwealth," the governor said, as reported by NBC Boston.
"The highly contagious nature of this disease means if everyone plays their part in slowing the spread the number of people who become infected and require medical attention doesn't spike all at once, which would overwhelm many of our systems."
Colorado, which has seen a lesser number of coronavirus cases at 15 with no reported death, also declared the emergency on similar lines.
"Our top priority is protecting public health and our vulnerable populations which is why we are taking swift bold action." Colorado governor Jared Polis said in a statement.
Why It Matters
Eight other states, including New York, California, Washington, Florida, Oregon, Ohio, Maryland, and Kentucky, have declared a state of emergency in the past weeks as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. rise.
At least 972 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. by press time, with 28 reported deaths, as 118,745 cases have been confirmed globally.
Last week, President Donald Trump signed a bill designating $8.3 billion for coronavirus response into law.
Trump is also asking Congress to pass payroll tax cuts to reduce the economic impact of the outbreak and provide other economic stimulus to worst-affected industries like airlines and hotels, as reported by CNN.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Massachusetts Governor's Twitter