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UPDATE 4-Trump takes coronavirus test, extends travel ban to Britain, Ireland

Jan Wolfe and Brendan O'Brien

(Adds quotes, details from White House briefing)

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, March 14 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Saturday he had taken a coronavirus test but that his temperature was "totally normal," as he extended a travel ban to Britain and Ireland to try to slow the spread of a pandemic that has shut down much of the daily routine of American life.

After White House officials took the unprecedented step of checking the temperatures of journalists entering the briefing room, Trump told reporters he took a test for the virus on Friday night and that he expects the results in "a day or two days." He met with a Brazilian delegation last week, at least one member of which has since tested positive.

Trump said Americans should reconsider non-essential travel, and that his administration was also considering domestic travel restrictions.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the country has recorded 2,226 case of the new coronavirus but has not yet reached the peak of the outbreak.

"This will get worse before it gets better," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said at the briefing. But, he added, "99% of people will recover and people need to know that."

Vice President Mike Pence, who is running the White House's response to the outbreak, said the administration was extending to Britain and Ireland travel restrictions that were first imposed on China and expanded this week to continental Europe.

U.S. airlines, which have already been battered by the restrictions and a steep drop in demand, said on Saturday that they were preparing more flight cuts. Pence said the new restrictions will take effect at midnight on Monday.

Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Trump decided to add Britain to the travel ban because of the rising number of coronavirus cases there. Health authorities in England announced on Saturday a further 10 deaths caused by COVID-19, almost doubling the number of fatalities in Britain since Friday.

U.S. citizens and legal residents will still be able to return home and will be funneled through certain airports, the vice president said.

Pence also told reporters that visits to nursing homes were being suspended to protect the most vulnerable. A nursing home in Washington state has been the site of most of the U.S. deaths caused by the coronavirus.

FIRST NEW YORK DEATH

Earlier on Saturday, officials in New York said an 82-year-old woman became the state's first coronavirus fatality.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the woman, who had previously suffered from emphysema, was hospitalized on March 3. He told reporters that the state's tally of cases had risen to 524. Nationwide, 50 people have died.

On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency in a move that he said would bring "the full power of the federal government" to bear on the escalating health crisis by freeing up some $50 billion in aid. He also urged every state to set up emergency centers to help fight the virus.

The pandemic has forced public schools, sports events and cultural and entertainment venues to close across the United States.

American shoppers picked grocery store shelves clean of products ranging from disinfectants and toilet paper to rice and milk, causing retailers to race to restock their stores. In response to the run on certain items, major retailers have imposed some purchase limits. On Saturday morning, about 500 people were lined up for two blocks outside a Costco in Garden Grove, California, waiting for the store to open.

Long lines of shoppers were reported outside food stores in other parts of the United States.

Early on Saturday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a coronavirus aid package that would provide free testing and paid sick leave, in a bid to limit the economic damage from the outbreak.

By a bipartisan vote of 363 to 40, the Democratic-controlled House passed a multi-billion dollar effort that would expand safety-net programs to help those who could be thrown out of work in the weeks to come. Trump said he supported the package, raising the likelihood that it will pass the Republican-controlled Senate next week.

Economists say the impact of the outbreak on businesses could tip the U.S. economy into recession.

Trump said on Saturday that he hoped the U.S. Federal Reserve "would finally get on board" and lower interest rates.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell had "so far made a lot of bad decisions in my opinion," Trump said, contrasting the Fed with the actions of European central banks that he said had been acting more aggressively.

"I have the right to remove. I'm not doing that," Trump said, referring to the Fed chair. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago, Jan Wolfe, David Shepardson, Jeff Mason and Joel Schectman in Washington, and Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)