Among the effects of the spreading virus: California's Santa Clara County, home to San Jose, has temporarily banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people after the county reported dozens of cases -- representing one of the widest such orders in the country.
"I would encourage any individual who is elderly or is medically fragile to think long and hard about going into any large gathering that would involve close quarters and potential spread," Azar told CNN's "New Day."
In Oakland, the Grand Princess cruise ship began to disembark passengers Monday after spending days in limbo off the coast of California. More passengers will be removed from the vessel Tuesday morning, beginning at 8 a.m. local time, according to an announcement from the ship's Captain John Harry Smith.
The ship's operator, Princess Cruise Line, said in a statement that disembarking passengers would be a "multiple day process."
up Tuesday morning, a day after
the Dow had its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis, as the White House began pitching a payroll tax cut to ease the economic fallout.
Pearl Jam postponed the North American leg of its tour; Boston
canceled its St. Patrick's Day Parade; US airlines are
slashing domestic and international flights.
Cruises in limbo
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
State Department both
warning against cruise travel -- especially for people with underlying health issues -- and two vessels prohibited from entering port over concerns about the virus.
after officials announced that
a passenger who had previously sailed on the ship had died of the virus.
Passengers leaving the ship will undergo medical screening while at the port by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, according to a statement from Travis Air Force Base.
Those showing symptoms and those in need of medical support will be the first off the vessel, ship Capt. John Harry Smith said. Asymptomatic passengers will be taken to military installations in California, Georgia or Texas for screening and a 14-day quarantine.
In Florida, the CDC issued a no-sail order to another Princess Cruise Line ship, the Caribbean Princess, after learning two crew members had transferred from another vessel where at least one guest tested positive for the virus. Neither crew member appears symptomatic and they are both remaining in their cabins out of an abundance of caution, Princess Cruises said in a statement.
The Caribbean Princess will make a brief stop at Grand Cayman for test kits and then set sail for Florida. The ship is expected to remain anchored off the coast of Florida until the no-sail order is lifted by the CDC, the statement said.
180 cases in Washington State
At least 26 people have died from the virus in the United States -- 22 in Washington state, two in Florida and two in California.
Life Care Center of Kirkland have died. Dozens of residents have been transferred to hospitals, leaving 55 residents at the facility that housed 120 in mid-February.
Three deaths were announced Monday: a woman in her 70s; a woman in her 80s, and a woman in her 90s. They died at area hospitals.
Many of the nation's coronavirus cases have been in Washington, where at least 180 people have been infected.
There are also more than 100 cases in New York, where officials announced 16 new cases Sunday. Officials have urged more than 2,500 people to self-quarantine, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Saturday.
Self-quarantine is reserved for people who may have come into contact with someone who was infected. People in self-quarantine are asked to remain at home until it can be determined that they are not ill. Health officials can issue orders to make those quarantines mandatory and make violating them illegal.
But preventing the continued spread of the virus will depend in large part on community action, officials said Monday at a White House coronavirus briefing.
Officials urged people to stay home from work if they or a family member are sick, use video conferencing for meetings and stop handshaking. At schools, faculty, staff and students are advised to disinfect doorknobs, limit food sharing and strengthen health screenings for cafeteria staff.