U.S. Health Alert – COVID-19 Update

Updated on 20 March 2020


The Situation:

Currently, the U.S. has at least 14,366 cases, with more than half of those located in New

York, Washington, and California. There are 217 deaths with 64 patients in critical

condition. According to the CDC, as of 19 March, there are 290 cases that are recorded as

‘Travel-Related’ and 310 cases that are a product of close-contact. The rest of the cases are

still under investigation for their origin.


States are taking various measures to slow the spread:

  • Extended school closures

  • Closure of bars and restaurants

  • Banning gatherings of 10 or more (recommended by the US CDC)

  • Recommend residents avoid nursing homes and hospitals

  • Recommend elderly (60+) and those with pre-existing conditions to self-isolate

  • Curfews, while not mandatory, are recommended


On 19 March 2020, the Governor of California issued Executive Order N-33-20 (Shelter in

Place), requiring citizens to remain at home except for essential business such as food,

prescriptions, and healthcare. This order also does not include business needed to maintain

continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors. Executive Order N-33-

20 is enforceable by California law and is effect until further notice.


On 20 March, New York Governor Cuomo announced he will sign an executive order

effective 22 March requiring all nonessential businesses are to work from home. Essential

services, including grocery stores, pharmacies, food delivery services and public

transportation will continue to operate. Businesses that do not comply face a civil fine and

mandatory closures. There will be no civil fines for individuals who violate the order at this

time.


Washington State has not issued Shelter-in-Place orders as of 10:00 a.m. EST 20 March.


Several significant changes in global travel restrictions put in place over the week.

  • Canada and the U.S. mutually decided to close border on 18 March, while US and Mexican authorities are currently discussing options which are expected to be announced Friday afternoon.

  • U.S. Department of State issues Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel on 19 March: The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

  • In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

  • U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.

  • Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

  • On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification. These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.

  • Department of State – Information for Travelers - LINK

  • Includes advise for U.S. citizens that are currently abroad with specific information for those in China, Europe and on cruise ships.


Current CDC Travel Alerts for Covid-19:

Level 3 – Avoid all nonessential travel

Level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions



Symptoms to Watch Out For:

Officials say the respiratory disease, is capable of spreading through human-to-human contact, droplets carried through sneezing and coughing, and germs left on inanimate objects. The virus might spread during the incubation period – which is believed to be from 1 to 14 days. Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • High fever

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Cough (usually dry) and/or sore throat

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle Aches in some cases also being reported

  • Pneumonia (secondary infection)


Mitigating Measures to Apply while in the US:

  • Monitor local authorities for updates

  • Avoid non-essential travel to areas where the infection is known or spreading rapidly

  • Travelers who return from infected areas should self-quarantine

  • Practice social distancing at the workplace and in public spaces

  • Consider work from home arrangements for employees in locations where the virus is spreading or if employees must transit through those areas

  • Employees who feel ill or who have flu-like, respiratory or other symptoms should consider self-quarantine and or stay at home instead of attending office or other functions

  • Weigh the risks of conducting large scale gatherings where the virus is located and the potential for attendees to transit through higher risk areas

  • Avoid contact with animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat)

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water; use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water isn’t available

  • Older travelers and those with underlying health issues may be at higher risk and should speak to their healthcare provider before travel

  • Avoid exposure to those presenting the above symptoms

  • Avoid populated areas and gatherings if you feel ill (if at all possible)

  • Allow extra time for temperature screening at airports

  • Seek medical care immediately if you experience symptoms and have recently traveled to the infected areas; notify your healthcare provider of your recent travel

  • Confirm travel schedule is not impacted by the coronavirus (including quarantines, which may be individually-imposed, visit/visa restrictions etc.)

  • Ensure the validity of all visas prior to travel as this could be subject to restrictions and changes


DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.

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