Live updates: First member of U.S. Congress tests positive for coronavirus; Senate passes bill to ensure paid leave for many Americans


The first U.S. member of Congress has tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said he developed a fever and headache on Saturday and had self-quarantined at his Washington apartment. He was notified that his test was positive a short time ago, he said Wednesday.

“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” Diaz-Balart said.

The United States and Canada have agreed to close their 5,500-mile border to “all nonessential travel” as the deadly coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. President Trump announced that two Navy hospital ships would be dispatched, at least one to New York. The news comes as countries around the world adopt increasingly strict quarantine measures, major companies wind down production, and experts warn that life worldwide will be severely disrupted for many months.

Here are some significant developments:

Italy’s coronavirus death toll increased by 475 on Wednesday, the largest daily increase recorded in any country.
New York state has more confirmed cases than all but 10 countries in the world.
The White House coronavirus plan aims to send $2,000 to many Americans, includes $300 billion for small businesses, as markets continue to drop. The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to ensure paid leave benefits to many Americans as coronavirus upends the labor market. It will now go to Trump for enactment.
The U.S. Air Force’s National Guard unit has transported 500,000 nasopharyngeal swabs for coronavirus tests from Italy to Memphis, Pentagon officials said.
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have topped 200,000 worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.