COVID-19 Update- 002
23 March 2020
Current as of 19300EDT/ 1630 PDT
Current COVID-19 Statistics:
375,458 - Worldwide Cases
100,958 - Worldwide Recovered Patients
16,371 - Worldwide Fatalities
43,214 - U.S. Cases
147 (no new data as of 19 March) - U.S. Recovered Patients
533 - U.S. Fatalities
United States Locations
234 - Arizona Cases
2,081 - California Cases
41 - Hawai’i Cases
77 - Idaho Cases
45 - Montana Cases
20,875 - New York Cases
245 - Nevada Cases
349 - North Carolina Cases
755 - Texas Cases
Over the weekend, global cases topped 300,000 as countries implemented further restrictions on movement in an effort to curb the exponential growth in COVID-19 cases. The U.S. State Department, along with many other international border agencies, began recalling their citizens and locking down their respective countries. Most countries have now banned travel imported from abroad with some exceptions on the African continent. Several of the hardest hit countries have been forced to take draconian measures by calling in the army to enforce “shelter-in-place” mandates. U.S. states with a high number of cases also began enacting statewide lockdowns, with other states handing down less restrictive directives. Authorities at all levels have begun acquainting citizens with more restrictive containment measures indicating that this may become the new normal. Such changes to daily life should be expected for an indefinite period of time. During this time, individuals may experience different kinds of stress as a result of being more confined. It will become imperative to disseminate information regarding healthy practices for sheltering in place and to promote mental health.
ASIA - CHINA - The country experienced four days last week without community transmission; however, a patient popped up yesterday with a locally acquired case. While the country begins to see signs of recovery after nearly three months of quarantine, imported cases of COVID-19 remain an ever-present threat. In response, beginning 22 March, all international flights destined for Beijing are being routed through other airports for thorough screening before being allowed to disembark in the capital.
CARIBBEAN - The spread of the coronavirus continues to remain relatively low, but should continue to be monitored.
ANTIGUAL AND BARBUDA - All three confirmed cases have been imported from abroad. The health authorities are working diligently to prevent the virus from entering the community at large. As a reminder, all foreigners who have travelled to the following countries within the past 28 days will be denied entry: China, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (D.R.) - Following the closure of its borders on 19 March, the authorities have now placed restrictions on all non-essential movements. Bars and restaurants have been closed and events are prohibited. Limited public transportation service and grocery shopping hours are expected in the coming days.
EUROPEAN UNION (E.U.) - The number of European cases has reached beyond 160,000 with over 8,500 of those fatalities. The compounding number of cases, some states doubling numbers every three days, have forced many individual European countries to implement even more stringent restrictions. The European Union is also considering triggering an emergency economic measure that would loosen spending regulations on the member states allowing them to run larger deficits in order to respond to the crisis.
ITALY - Italy suffered another challenging weekend combatting COVID-19. The death toll number soared 651 in a 24 hour period, posting the greatest number of single-day deaths since the start of the outbreak. In response, the government mobilized the army to enforce a strict lockdown in Lombardy, the region most affected by the disease.
PORTUGAL - More details regarding the state of emergency that was announced by the President have emerged. Following the lead of other countries, the Portuguese have been asked to stay home and only leave for emergencies or to procure essential goods. Restaurants are permitted to provide takeaway service only and companies are encouraged to organize telework for their employees. The mandate is expected to last until 2 April. The British government has published a full list of restrictions in both English and Portguese, here.
SPAIN - Spain has seen a spike in new cases and deaths over the weekend, with 5,000 new cases reported on Saturday alone. In response the President has decided to extend the state of emergency until 11 April and has increased measures to restrict the people in public places.
NORTH AMERICA -
CANADA - Ontario and Quebec have ordered non-essential businesses to close by 24 March. Other Canadian provinces that have already implemented such mandates will hand out fines up to $1,000 CAD for citizens or businesses that do not comply. All non-essential land crossings between the U.S. and Canada is banned effective 20 March, air travel while currently allowed, is strongly discouraged.
MEXICO - The country implemented a social distancing strategy on 20 March and remains behind the U.S. and Europe on the outbreak curve, but the number of cases are starting to grow. Preemptive quarantining efforts are being made at the community level and Mexico City has banned all public social gatherings.
UNITED STATES - On 21 March, all nonessential travel between the U.S.’s land borders with Canada and Mexico was banned. The Secretary of State also reiterated today that a Level 4 Travel Advisory had been issued for all international travel and urged Americans to return Stateside immediately. U.S. citizens unable to get home in the next few days may be required to remain abroad indefinitely.
OCONUS Desk - Over 43,000 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. making it now the third-highest infected country in the world. Over the weekend increased concern for the dramatic rise in cases, states like Illinois and New York, took similar measures mirroring California’s “shelter in place” mandate. Other states, such as: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Oregon are implementing “stay at home” executive orders effective early this week, rendering most Americans homebound for the next two to three weeks. States and counties have been trending toward tighter restrictions on movement and social interactions. Stricter regulations are to be expected across all states in the coming days.
ARIZONA - The Governor’s mandate requiring restaurants in counties with confirmed cases to cease dine-in service and close all theaters, bars, and gyms went into effect Friday. In addition, all elective surgeries have been suspended statewide to free up medical resources. Households with an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19 are required to stay home and contact a medical provider. The governor insists no further restrictive measures need to be taken at this time.
CALIFORNIA - The state’s “shelter-in-place” directive went into effect Friday, allowing residents to only leave home for essential reasons. Due to a loose interpretation of essential work, over the weekend the governor issued clarity on what is considered essential. Outdoor recreation with built-in social distancing like hiking and walking the dog are permitted; however the governor closed all parking lots at beaches and parks to reduce the number of people congregating. Public golf courses and tennis courts closed on 21 March until further notice, but some private courses remain open until additional direction is provided by state officials.
HAWAI’I - Effective 25 March at 12:01am, Hawaiins will join many other states in a “stay at home” order handed down by the governor today. The ordinance will be in effect until 30 April, failure to comply could lead to a fine of up to $5,000 or one year in jail.
IDAHO - The virus has now spread to the panhandle of the state. Idaho has still not enforced a statewide closure of its schools nor implemented any blanket mandates. Several counties however, announced an impending “shelter in place” ordinance. The directive is expected to affect Blaine County and the cities of Bellevue, Carey, Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley.
MONTANA - The number of cases jumped from 11 to 35 on Monday, now affecting 11 of the state’s counties. Gallatin county is the hardest hit with 16 confirmed cases. The governor signed a directive today easing the process to distribute emergency medical supplies. No statewide mandates have been implemented, but Great Falls has banned in-dining at bars and restaurants.
NEW YORK - The Governor announced that New Yorkers must remain at home for all nonessential activities and beginning Sunday, fines will be given out to businesses violating this order. A similar order is already in place in New York City. The state faces a very serious potential surge in new cases this week. At present, 28% of tests in the state come back positive where the rest of the country is averaging 8%. There is real concern that New York’s medical infrastructure will quickly be overburdened despite the governor’s call to increase hospital capacity by 50%. There is mounting fear that medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators will be in short supply within a week. The federal government is providing some relief aid, but New York state faces a challenging week ahead.
NEVADA - The Governor has shut down all schools and non-essential businesses until April 13th.
NORTH CAROLINA - On the heels of the state’s first community acquired case of COVID-19, the Medical Director with the Department of Health urged people to stay home in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Today the governor banned gatherings of 50 or more and has ordered businesses like gyms and movie theaters to close by Wednesday (25 March).
TEXAS - Governor Abbott issued an executive order calling for a statewide shutdown of all schools, bars, restaurants, and gyms on Friday. Austin-Travis County and Dallas County have taken stricter measures calling for “shelter-in-place” mandates to take effect this week.
Given travel advisory change to Level 4 (Do Not Travel), the State Department has issued guidance for international travelers. Foreign travel is not advised as the outbreak mounts. Countries are imposing restrictive travel measures, mandatory quarantines, and/or are closing their borders without notice. It is recommended that U.S. citizens return immediately.
INFORMATION FOR U.S. CITIZENS RETURNING FROM EUROPE
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents are permitted to travel back to the U.S. from the U.K., Ireland, and the 26 Schengen countries. All travelers from these areas must fly into one of the permitted U.S. international airports for additional screening. For comprehensive information regarding those ports of entry, refer to the DHS website. Non-U.S citizens or permanent residents are still prohibited from entering the U.S. if they have travelled to Europe within the past 14-days.
U.S. CITIZENS RETURNING FROM CHINA
- U.S. citizens or permanent residents having travelled to China within the past 14-days should expect to be quarantined for 14-days upon arrival to the U.S.
CRUISE SHIP TRAVEL
- The CDC does not recommend cruise travel for anyone with underlying health issues or in advanced age at this time. Other travelers should note that ships may have difficulty disembarking at ports of call and passengers may be faced with quarantine upon arrival.
STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD
- The CDC recommends that universities and other institutes of higher education postpone study abroad programs. It also recommends that students currently participating in study abroad programs return to their home countries.
Credible Information Sources:
- CDC COVID-19 Information
- Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Map
- National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Profile
- U.S. State Department Travel Advisories
- U.S. State Department Travel Guidance
- World Health Organization COVID-19 Profile
Our Continued Commitment:
We at Patronus Medical have as one of our primary concerns the health and well-being of Private Health clients. While at the site level, it is important for all to be AT LEAST in alignment with local jurisdictional and public health guidance and/or mandates, Patronus will continue to assist and provide recommendations based on the unique characteristics and requirements of those sites, with an eye toward balancing best practice public health interventions, and workplace and worker safety, with the need to ensure to the extent possible continuity of operations and site essential tasks.