top of page

U.S. Health Alert – COVID-19 Update

Updated on 27 March 2020

The Situation:

Currently, the U.S. has at least 87,318 confirmed cases – the highest in the world - with 38,987 of those located in New York, which accounts for 7% of cases worldwide. There are 2,122 cases considered critical, 1,868 recorded recoveries, and 1,271 recorded deaths.

According to the CDC, as of 26 March, there are 636 cases that are considered travel-related and 1,074 cases that are a product of close-contact. The rest of the cases are still under investigation for their origin.

There continues to be a dramatic increase in daily case numbers. For example, on March 24, New York reported over 5,000 new cases. This increase can be attributed to the growing ability to test for the virus in local and state labs. As the country works through the backlog of tests, we may continue to see data spikes such as this one.

On 27 March, the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act) passed in the House and now awaits Trump's expected signature. The Act is expected to provide aid to supply chains including those in the distribution and agriculture sectors as well as the airline industry and direct payments to Americans.

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

New York City plans to release roughly 300 nonviolent inmates from Riker’s Island, after the city’s first prisoner tested positive for the coronavirus last week. The prisoners all have sentences of less than a year, and were found guilty of misdemeanor charges.

Governors across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. have mobilized components of their Army and Air National Guard to assist in their state’s response. U.S Navy Hospital Ship Comfort is set to arrive in New York on Monday, March 30. U.S Navy Hospital Ship Mercy is set to arrive today, March 27 in California.

The following states have enacted a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order, requiring citizens to remain at home except for essential purposes such as food and healthcare:

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Florida (Miami)

  • Georgia (Albany and surrounding Dougherty County, Athens-Clarke County, Atlanta and Savannah)

  • Hawaii

  • Idaho

  • Louisiana

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • Missouri (St. Louis and Kansas City)

  • New York

  • North Carolina (Mecklenburg County, Durham, Madison & Pitt County)

  • Ohio

  • Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and other select counties)

  • South Carolina

  • Texas (Dallas County)

  • US Virgin Islands

  • Washington

  • West Virginia

  • Wisconsin

Some states and territories have signed orders to close non-essential businesses: Delaware, Kentucky, Virginia, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam

Changes in global travel restrictions:

  • 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.

  • Canada and the U.S. mutually decided to close border on 18 March.

  • 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 U.S. should arrange for immediate return, 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.

  • On March 20, land ports of entry along the United States-Mexico border were limited to “essential travel” until April 20.

Current CDC Travel Alerts for Covid-19:

  • Level 3 – Avoid all nonessential travel: Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, China, Europe, Italy, Iran, Malaysia, South Korea, UK and Ireland and Cruise ships

  • 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.


bottom of page