Friday, February 21, 2020

Re: Emergency Alert: Novel Coronavirus (UPDATED)

UPDATE: I did receive a response from the Consulate in Chengdu and understand from a State Department employee that the other consulates may not consistently be monitoring emails because several staff assisted with the Wuhan evacuations.

Hello Sir,

Thank you for your concern.

Both of these messages pertain to the same situation and provide the same basic information. The Department of State is doing its best to ensure that this information reaches the widest audience possible.

Very Sincerely,

American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu
Telephone: +86-028-8558-3992

Dear Ambassador, Consul or relevant federal worker,

Is this Emergency Alert below a recantation of the earlier statement from the Embassy on February 2: "Those currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means"? See, where that information is still published. If it is not, I would like to know why you do not repeat that recommendation in every email message that you send to us. At considerable personal expense, I  returned to the homeland on Feb 17 based, in part, on the Dept. of State's recommendation. I am following here the protocols of the CDC and Dept. of Homeland Security. Please clarify as I have many American friends still there who want reliable and understandable information and suggestions from our government. Thank you.

Walk in balance,
Alexander Lee, JD, MSEL (Vermont Law '01)

On Fri, Feb 21, 2020 at 4:04 AM <> wrote:
Seal with white background

Emergency Alert: Novel Coronavirus
Current Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
There is an ongoing worldwide outbreak of a respiratory illness first identified in Wuhan, China, caused by a novel (new) coronavirus.  On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the source of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.  Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring.
What we recommend
U.S. citizens are urged to:
·         The Department of State's Travel Advisory for China is currently a Level 4- Do Not Travel to China due to novel coronavirus.   
·         Avoid contact with sick people.
·         If you decide to travel to China discuss your travel with your healthcare provider.  Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
·         Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
·         Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
·         Follow local authority instructions.
·         Closely monitor and for important information.
Before you travel
Due to the current public health situation, many countries have begun implementing strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.
·         Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in Hubei province, China in the previous 14 days may be subject to up to 14 days of quarantine.
·         Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days may undergo a health screening and possible self-quarantine.
·         Please read these Department of Homeland Security supplemental instructions for further details.
·         U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.  You may also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
·         If you travel, you should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates.
Presidential Proclamation on Novel Coronavirus
On Friday, January 31 President Trump signed a proclamation barring entry to the United States of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days. The proclamation is in effect as of February 2. This action follows the declaration of a public health emergency in the United States related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. The full text of the presidential proclamation is available on the White House website at:
Passengers on Cruise Ships
U.S. citizens should reconsider travel by cruise ship to or within East Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region.  U.S. citizens planning travel by cruise ship elsewhere should be aware that, due to the current public health situation, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  This is a dynamic situation and U.S. citizens traveling by ship may be impacted by travel restrictions affecting their itineraries or ability to disembark, or may be subject to quarantine procedures implemented by the local authorities.  While the U.S. government has successfully evacuated hundreds of our citizens in the previous weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. U.S. citizens should evaluate the risks associated with choosing to remain in an area that may be subject to quarantine and take the appropriate proactive measures. Passengers who plan to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information on the current rules and restrictions, and continue to monitor the website for updated information.
On January 30, the Department updated the Travel Advisory for China from a Level 3: Reconsider Travel to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to COVID-19 first identified in Wuhan, China.  In an effort to contain the COVID-19, the Chinese authorities have suspended air and rail travel in the area around Wuhan.  On January 31, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members of U.S. personnel under age 21 from China.  The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.
We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Hubei Province, China, to contact concerned family members in the United States and elsewhere to advise them of your safety.
Hong Kong
On February 8, the Hong Kong government began enforcing a compulsory 14-day quarantine for anyone, regardless of nationality, arriving in Hong Kong who has visited mainland China within a 14-day period. This quarantine does not apply to individuals transiting Hong Kong International Airport and certain exempted groups such as flight crews. However, health screening measures are in place at all of Hong Kong's borders and the Hong Kong authorities will quarantine individual travelers, including passengers transiting the Hong Kong International Airport, if the Hong Kong authorities determine the traveler to be a health risk. The Hong Kong government temporarily closed certain transportation links and border checkpoints connecting Hong Kong with mainland China and suspended ferry services from Macau.  On February 10, 2020 the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and their family members due to COVID-19 and the impact to U.S. Consulate personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.
If you need assistance in China
·         U.S. citizens in Hubei Province, China who need emergency assistance can contact the U.S. Embassy at
·         To provide us with information about a U.S. citizen who is in Hubei Province, you may:
o   Contact the Department of State at‎.
o   Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

  • 国务院发出的前往中国的旅行建议现阶段为第4级:鉴于新型冠状病毒,请勿前往中国旅行。
  • 避免与生病的人接触
  • 如果您决定前往中国,请先咨询您的健康顾问。年长或有潜在健康问题的出行者将会有更大的风险感染疾病。
  • 避免接触动物(活物或死物),动物市场和动物制品(比如说没有煮熟的生肉)。
  • 勤用肥皂洗手至少20秒。如果没有肥皂和水源的话,请用酒精洗手液代替。
  • 遵循当地权威的建议。
  • 密切留意 and CDC.gov发布的重要信息。
  • 任何美国公民在回美国前如果在过去的14天内到访过中国湖北省应当隔离14天。
  • 任何美国公民回美国前如果在过去的14天内到访过除湖北省的中国大陆的其他地区,会被要求进行健康检查也可能会被要求自我隔离。
  • 请访问 Department of Homeland Security supplemental instructions 获取更多详细信息。
  • 美国公民可以留意媒体报道和当地实时更新的数据来规划自己的行程和活动。您也可以关注我们的Twitter  Facebook
  • 如果您要旅行,您可以注册Smart Traveler Enrollment Program来获得更多资讯。
131日星期五,特朗普总统签署了一项公告,禁止在过去14天内到访过中国的大多数外国公民进入美国。 该公告自22日起生效。紧随其后美国因中国武汉COVID-19突发疫情宣布国家公共卫生紧急状态。关于总统令的全文请参阅白宫网站

  • 在湖北省的美国公民如需紧急帮助请联系美国驻华大使馆
  • 如果您需要向我们提供在湖北省的美国公民信息,您可以:
o 拨打美国和加拿大境内的免费电话1-888-407-4747; 从其他国家致电的话,请拨打1-202-501-4444。工作时间为美国东部标准时间早上8点到晚上8点,周一至周五(美国国定假日除外)。

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