On Wednesday, July 8, the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the US reached 3,016,515, with 131,594 associated fatalities. The US has recorded more than 1,000,000 cases in a month, with 40 states reporting that their local infection rate is rising. The announcement came as President Donald Trump pushed for schools to reopen, condemning the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) reopening guidelines as too burdensome.
Numerous US states have imposed quarantine orders on arrivals from states with high rates of COVID-19 infection. The US government previously announced that land border restrictions with Canada and Mexico have been extended through July 21. The measures limit border crossings to those who are entering for essential work such as truck drivers, healthcare professionals, and airline crew. In addition, travelers arriving from the Schengen Area, the UK, Iran, or China, or who have transited through these locations in the past 14 days, are not permitted to enter the US. Nationals, permanent residents, and their spouses, are exempt from this ban. Those exempt must arrive in the US through one of 15 approved airports, which are listed here.
Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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