The Treasury Department is considering delaying tax payments beyond the April 15 deadline, according to a person familiar with the plans, as taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service brace for economic disruption from the spread of the coronavirus.

Treasury and White House officials have been discussing the idea of extending the tax deadline over the past week as the administration considers measures to relieve financial pressure on individuals and businesses struggling with fallout from a virus that has closed schools, kept workers at home and disrupted supply chains.

America’s first known coronavirus case was announced on Jan. 21 in Washington State. Six weeks later, the number of cases had risen to 70, most of them tied to overseas travel. But since then, new case reports have poured in, first by the dozens, then the hundreds.

A majority of the cases have been in Washington State, California or New York, where everyday life swiftly began to change. Businesses closed. Colleges canceled class. Governors urged people to avoid crowds.

But the virus is now found in every region of the country, including Massachusetts, where dozens of new cases were announced on Tuesday, and South Dakota, where the governor announced the state’s five first cases, including one man who died. The number of states with no reported cases now stands at about a dozen.

Thirty-one deaths across the country have now been linked to the coronavirus. Officials in Sacramento County, Calif., said on Tuesday that a woman in her 90s died after contracting the illness.

Some workers in Hubei Province, the center of the global epidemic and site of more than 3,000 coronavirus related deaths, are returning to their jobs, the government said, the first signs of normalcy after a weekslong lockdown.

The partial easing of the lockdown, which includes the lifting of some travel restrictions, came one day after Xi Jinping, the leader of China, visited Wuhan, the provincial capital. Mr. Xi’s presence indicated the government’s confidence that it had begun to bring the outbreak under control even as the rest of the world was just waking up to the threat.

The authorities said vital industries, including suppliers of medical equipment and agricultural products, would soon resume work.

In high-risk parts of Hubei outside Wuhan, river ports, insurance companies and those operating in the country’s key supply chains can also return to work.

The province’s social life remains curtailed. Movie theaters, gyms and karaoke bars — even those in low-risk areas — will stay closed. Schools will too until further notice.

Trains, automobile and airplane traffic can gradually restart in an “orderly” manner in the province’s lower risk areas, the government said.

Across China, there have been 80,963 confirmed cases and 3,162 deaths. In Hubei alone, where the epidemic has been most severe, there are a total of 67,773 confirmed cases and 3,046 deaths so far.

But also on Wednesday, Beijing announced tighter restrictions and quarantine measures on those entering the capital.

All travelers entering Beijing will have to self-quarantine at home or at a designated site for 14 days.

Those arriving in Beijing for a short business trip must stay at assigned hotels and are subject to testing. They cannot leave the premises until the results of the tests are determined, city officials said.

In late January, the first confirmed American case of coronavirus had been reported in the Seattle area. But had the man infected anyone else? Was the virus already spreading?

Dr. Helen Y. Chu, an infectious disease expert in Seattle, had a way to monitor the region. As part of a research project into the flu, she and a team of researchers had been collecting nasal swabs for months from residents experiencing symptoms throughout the Puget Sound region.

To repurpose the tests for the coronavirus, they would need the support of state and federal officials. But officials repeatedly rejected her idea, interviews and emails show, even as weeks crawled by and outbreaks emerged outside of China.

By Feb. 25, Dr. Chu and her colleagues could not wait any longer. They began performing coronavirus tests without government approval. What came back confirmed their worst fear: They had a positive test from a local teenager with no recent travel history.

Nadine Dorries, a British health minister, confirmed reports late on Tuesday that she had tested positive for the coronavirus. She had attended a reception at Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official residence two days earlier.

Ms. Dorries said in a post on Twitter that she had felt “pretty rubbish,” but hoped that the worst of the viral illness had come and gone. British news reports said she was the first member of Parliament to test positive.

Health officials were rushing to trace her contacts, which included dozens of constituents and lawmakers, as well as co-workers at the Department of Health and Social Care, according to British news outlets. She was at 10 Downing Street, Mr. Johnson’s residence, on Sunday for International Women’s Day.

The news prompted discussion in Britain about whether Parliament would need to be suspended. Lawmakers meet in the cramped House of Commons, sitting shoulder to shoulder on green leather benches and often spilling into the aisles and standing room areas, creating fertile conditions for illness to spread.

Some observers noted that Ms. Dorries appeared to have voted in the House of Commons about a week ago, meaning she had at least brief contact with other lawmakers at a time when she was presumably contagious.

But her most dangerous contact may have been with her 84-year-old mother, who is staying with her, Ms. Dorries wrote on Twitter late Tuesday night. “Thanks for so many good wishes,” Ms. Dorries wrote, adding that her mother had developed a cough. “She is being tested tomorrow,” she wrote. “Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone.”

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State will announce on Wednesday a prohibition on community gatherings of 250 or more people in the Seattle area as the state takes extraordinary steps to contain a coronavirus outbreak, according to a person involved in the discussions.

The announcement, according to the person involved, is expected to target events such as sporting and entertainment gatherings while offering exceptions to things like retail stores.

Schools will not be affected, but districts will be expected to review things like sporting events that may draw significant crowds.

Washington State and the Seattle area have adopted increasingly stringent controls as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has approached 300 — the most in the country — and the number of deaths has reached 24.

Here are some of the most common questions that readers are asking today about how they can prepare for the coronavirus, how they can boost their immune systems and how they should react to the market (don’t, probably).

The Bank of England slashed its key borrowing rate on Wednesday before the opening of stock trading in London.

Nearly 35 percent of people have experienced some form of psychological distress during the epidemic, including panic disorder, anxiety and depression, according to the study, which was based on a survey of more than 52,000 people. The survey was conducted by researchers from the Shanghai Mental Health Center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and at Siuvo, a health care start-up in China that focuses on artificial intelligence.

Migrant workers reported the highest levels of distress compared to people in other jobs, in part because of concerns about loss of wages and possible exposure to the virus. The near paralysis of China’s economy has placed a disproportionate burden on the country’s roughly 300 million migrant workers, whose income earned in big cities often supports family members still living in rural villages.

According to the study, older respondents were also more likely to experience distress, which researchers said was attributable to the fact that they are more likely to be affected by the virus. Respondents from central China, which includes Hubei Province, the region at the heart of the outbreak, reported the highest levels of distress compared with other parts of the country.

There will be no live audience. No spin room. Virtually no traveling members of the press. This is a presidential primary debate in the age of coronavirus.

CNN and Democratic officials announced on Tuesday that “at the request of the campaigns and out of an abundance of caution,” the Democratic debate in Phoenix on Sunday between Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Bernie Sanders would be a significantly pared-down affair.

The live audience — whose jeers and cheers can be a major variable for the candidates onstage — will be missing. Instead, Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders will debate each other in an empty theater, joined only by a handful of moderators and television crew members.

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