National Situation Update- 3/22/2020



The Peace Arch (French: Arche de la Paix) is a monument situated near the westernmost point of the Canada–United States border in the contiguous United States, between the communities of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia. - ALLOW IMAGES


U.S. Closes Borders to Nonessential Travel


March 21, 2020


3/15 – CA Gov Newsom calls for closure of all bars, nightclubs, brewpubs and wineries. Restaurants will remain open at reduced capacity. Those 65+ told to self-isolate.

3/15 – New guidance from the CDC recommends canceling or postponing in-person events of 50 or more ppl nationwide for the next 8 weeks. See your email for more info.

3/15 – NYC Mayor: Effective Tuesday 9AM, nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, & concert venues must close. Restaurants limited to takeout & delivery.

3/15 – LA Mayor halts evictions; orders closing of all entertainment sites, incl bars, nightclubs, theaters, gyms, and arcades. Urges places of worship to close.

3/16 – NY / CT / NJ Joint Action: At 8PM TONIGHT, gatherings of 50 ppl max, rest/bars move to takeout/delivery only, gyms, theaters, casinos closed.

3/16 – Canadian PM Trudeau: Canada banning entry to most non-residents except US citizens. Calls for citizens abroad to return to Canada. AlertsUSA monitoring..

3/16 – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf orders statewide shutdown of most non-essential businesses to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

3/16 – White House Coronavirus Task Force releases new guidelines to slow spread of COVID-19, incl avoiding gatherings of more than 10 ppl. More info via email.

3/16 – San Francisco Mayor orders residents of 6 counties (San Fran, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda) to shelter in place beginning at midnight.

3/17 – State of NY seeking reserve staff of recently retired health professionals to help respond to the coronavirus public health crisis. More info via email.

3/17 – NV Gov Sisolak suspends gaming statewide at midnight tonight local time. All nonessential business to close by 12 PM Wednesday March 17 for 30 days.

3/18 – POTUS: US and Canada, by mutual consent, closing common border to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Additional details forthcoming.

3/19 – Dept of State suspends routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services in all countries with a Level 2, 3, or 4 Travel Advisory due to COVID-19 threat.

3/19 – TX Gov bans gatherings of 10 or more ppl, rest, bars, gyms closed statewide (takeout & delivery only). All schools closed. Effective Friday 3/20 at midnight CT.

3/19 – State Dept. issues Global Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Health Advisory urging US citizens to avoid all int’l travel. Those abroad should return to the US. See email.

3/19 – L.A. Mayor Garcetti issues emergency order requiring all residents of Los Angeles to stay inside their homes and immediately limit nonessential movement.

3/19 – CA Gov. Gavin Newsom announces statewide order mandating that Californians stay at home except for essential work and errands. Developing..

3/20 – US and Mexico, by mutual consent, closing common border to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Additional details forthcoming.

3/20 – IL Gov. Pritzker issues ‘Stay at Home’ order for all state residents from 5 PM Sat 3/21 thru 4/8.


Most important for this report:



On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government was stepping up its response to the spread of COVID-19 by shutting its border to nearly all non-residents. Speaking to reporters Monday outside his residence where he himself is self quarantined since his wife tested positive for the coronavirus, Trudeau said people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be denied entry into Canada. He noted there are exceptions for airline crews, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadians and, for now, U.S. citizens.

Trudeau also put out the call for Canadian citizens abroad to return to Canada.



On Wednesday, President Trump announced that the US and Canada, by mutual consent, would be closing the common border to non-essential traffic. The closing will affect tourism, but not trade, or those involved in essential work covering support of critical infrastructure and the international response to the crisis.



On Thursday, the US State Department suspended routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services in all countries with a Level 2, 3, or 4 Travel Advisory due to COVID-19 threat.

Also on Thursday, the State Dept. issued a Global Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Health Advisory urging US citizens to avoid all international travel. Quoting from the advisory:

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 U.S., 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 canceled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or canceled 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 Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US and Mexico, by mutual consent, would be closing the common border to non-essential traffic. Here again, trade and essential workers would not be affected.



Also this week, numerous states, including California, New York and Illinois issued unprecedented ‘Stay at Home’ orders for all of their residents with the exception of essential workers. Each has also limited the size of gatherings, in most instances, to less than 10 people in order to slow the spread of the virus.



Once again, we strongly encourages listeners to pay attention and use the totality of U.S. and foreign government actions in response to this global public health crisis as your cue to prepare yourself, your family, and any business interests, for the possibility that the virus will have a significant impact here in North America. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health all warn that we are only witnessing the tip of the iceberg and that more cases of the coronavirus will be appearing across the United States, especially now that we have increasingly widespread testing capabilities across the country. IT is going to get worse before it gets better.



We also cautions the parents and families of college and university students who, despite this global public health threat, still chose to travel for Spring Break. Many of those students are now heading home, and as most colleges and universities have closed, those students will likely be returning to your homes. Given that one can be can be a carrier, and spreader, of the virus and be completely asymptomatic, strong consideration should be given to where the returning Spring break revelers will stay until it is determined they are not carriers of the virus.



World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control (U.S.)
Johns Hopkins CSSE (Interactive map updated multiple times daily)

Johns Hopkins CSSE COVID-19 Case Count (Interactive map updated multiple times daily) - ALLOW IMAGES


China Very High
Regional Level Very High
Global Level Very High




Official Coronavirus Information Pages:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Agency of Canada
Infection Prevention and Control Canada
World Health Organization


Official Pandemic Preparedness Guidance:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Department of Homeland Security / Ready.Gov
World Health Organization


Assorted Resources

(While some of the resources below were prepared for pandemic influenza, the broader guidance contain therein is directly applicable to the current coronavirus crisis).

Home Care for Patients w/ Suspected Coronavirus Infection
Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza
Fundamentals of Emergency Planning for Schools
Healthcare Systems Preparedness for COVID-19
Pub Health Guidance for Community-Level Preparedness & Response (SARS)
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Faith-based & Community Org. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Checklist
WHO Checklist for Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Planning
Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu
Dept of Defense Coronavirus Response Page
DHS Supplemental Instructions For Inbound Flights



View Last Week’s Issue



AlertsUSA continues to monitor the domestic and international threat environment around the clock and will immediately notify service subscribers, via SMS messages to their mobile devices, of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.


3/18 – Widespread power outage in the Salt Lake Valley Area impacting approximately 32,000 customers due to a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. AlertsUSA monitoring..




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March 21, 2020


We Are About to Find Out How Robust Civilization Is

There are no good outcomes from here. Many people will die prematurely. Many will lose their jobs. Many businesses will go under. Many people will suffer bereavement, loneliness and despair, even if they dodge the virus. The only question is how many in each case. We are about to find out how robust civilization is. The hardships ahead are like nothing we’ve known.



What exactly is the Defense Production Act?

President Donald Trump on Wednesday invoked a Korean War-era law as part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to boost private industry production of supplies needed for the health crisis. What is it and what does it do?



Are China’s Coronavirus Numbers Totally Bogus?

Accusations are that the communists organized a mass cover-up to save face, which includes suppressing the seriousness of the disease to the outside world, brutally cracking down on all dissent, and hiding the countless bodies of people who died from the virus, all for the purpose of not embarrassing the ruling regime.



The Best-Case Outcome for the Coronavirus, and the Worst

Putting it all together, Dr. Tara C. Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University, said: “I’m not pessimistic. I think this can work.” She thinks it will take eight weeks of social distancing to have a chance to slow the virus, and success will depend on people changing behaviors and on hospitals not being overrun. “If warm weather helps, if we can get these drugs, if we can get companies to produce more ventilators, we have a window to tamp this down,” Smith said.

So that’s the best case, and it’s plausible.



How Korea Trounced the U.S. in a Race to Test People for Coronavirus

The administration of President Donald Trump was tripped up by government rules and conventions. Instead of drafting the private sector early on to develop tests, as South Korea did, U.S. health officials relied, as is customary, on test kits prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some of which proved faulty. Then, sticking to its time-consuming vetting procedures, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration didn’t approve tests other than the CDC’s until Feb. 29, more than five weeks after discussions with outside labs had begun.





Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of March16, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGE8

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker


March 21, 2020

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of March 16, 2020 based on Navy and public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.



Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Keith Avinger signals the pilot of an MH-60R Seahawk on the flight deck of the USS Russell in Philippine Sea, March 17, 2020. - ALLOW IMAGES

World News Roundup


March 21, 2020


Other Developments We Are Following



Cardi B demands someone at the Pentagon ‘let a b*tch know’ what is going on
Coronavirus travel chaos as Latin America barricades itself
Mexico under international criticism for coronavirus response
Cruise ship with COVID-19 patients docks in Cuba
Peru deploys military to slow coronavirus spread; Chile closes borders
Breaking coronavirus quarantine in Argentina could mean jail time
Brazil records two new deaths from coronavirus
Rio’s Christ statue closes and state of emergency decreed
Coronavirus batters Brazilian retail, travel and factories
Coronavirus is hammering Latin American economies
Coronavirus rocks already strained ties between US and China
How long will Americans be fighting the coronavirus?
COVID-19 Affects National Security in Novel Ways
Guard activations to rapidly increase, could be used for law enforcement
This is Fort Bragg’s FOB-style quarantine
DoD to send ship to Seattle and deploy Army hospital units amid pandemic
‘Confusion and anxiety’ at Pentagon over telework guidance
Trump says US military to help Americans stuck in Peru get home
Pentagon’s major hypersonic glide body flight test deemed success
State Department blacklists new Islamic State leader
Legendary specops aviator reveals bin Laden mission details
Trump considering ‘full pardon’ for Michael Flynn after FBI ‘lost’ records
DOJ drops plans for trial over Russian interference in 2016 election
5 Unique Weapons Of Cuba’s Garage-Built Navy



Coronavirus sends British forces home from Iraq
Buckwheat and Coronavirus: How Russians Cope With the End of the World
Hello from Italy. Your future is grimmer than you think
I’m a Doctor in Britain. We’re Heading Into the Abyss
WHO officials warn health systems are ‘collapsing’ under coronavirus
‘We underestimated coronavirus,’ EU admits
Coronavirus: EU entry ban hits travelers as lockdown widens
EU closes external borders to slow spread of coronavirus
EU closes borders to most foreign travelers to curb coronavirus pandemic
Italy coronavirus deaths rise by record 475 in a day
Italy rushes new doctors into service as coronavirus deaths rise above 2,500
Italy threatens to ban outdoor exercise as coronavirus deaths surge
Germany coronavirus threat raised to ‘high’ alert
Spanish PM addresses near-empty parliament
European Union seals borders to most outsiders
Soldiers in Europe for Defender 2020 to return home amid pandemic



US-led coalition forces in Iraq reposition amid pandemic and Iran threat
No soap, no water: billions lack basic protection against virus
The Coronavirus Is Expediting Middle East Outcomes
Ravaged by war, Middle Eastern countries face a new scourge
Dozens of Malian soldiers killed in suspected jihadist attack
Syria opposition blocks Turkey-Russia patrols on M4 highway
Pompeo says Russia responsible for Turkish soldiers’ deaths
US hands over base to Iraqi forces in hotbed for Iran-backed militia
US deployment in Iraq: Troops to leave smaller bases after attack
US slaps new sanctions on Iran amid renewed rocket attacks in Iraq
Rouhani vows Iran will take further action to avenge US Soleimani
Adnan al-Zurfi named new prime minister of Iraq
Ehud Olmert tells FRANCE 24: ‘Benjamin Netanyahu has to go home’
All sides to blame for at least 120 attacks on Yemen hospitals, report says
Troops in Mali ‘failed to prevent massacre’
Malawi leader sacks country’s military chief
Militia ‘sect’ wreaks havoc in remote DR Congo region




Asian nations face second wave of imported cases
China’s chief medical advisor DENIES the coronavirus originates in Wuhan
Pakistan PM: ‘Cannot afford’ to shut down cities over coronavirus
What Australia could learn from China’s response to coronavirus COVID-19
As world cowers, China glimpses coronavirus aftermath
Coronavirus has reached India, but I feel safer here than Australia
Intense cross border fire underway between troops of India and Pakistan
Taliban promises safe passage for coronavirus health workers
US calls Afghan prisoner swap ‘urgent’ amid coronavirus
Deputy head of Japan’s Olympic Committee tests positive for COVID-19
Dissent grows as IOC battles to keep Tokyo Olympics on track
Beijing says expulsion of American reporters may just be the start
North Korean leader calls upgrading public health sector a ‘crucial task’





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Travel Security

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The U.S. Dept. of State Travel Website is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation at your destination well prior to departure.


Active USGOV Travel Notices

Worldwide Caution



Active USGOV Travel Advisories

Alphabetical Country List

Dynamic Map



Other USGOV Travel Resources

Traveler’s Checklist

Smart Traveler Enrollment Prog (STEP)

Travelers with Special Considerations

Travel to High-Risk Areas

Faith-Based Travel Information

Information for Women Travelers

Cruise Ship Passengers

Students Abroad

Your Health Abroad

Driving and Road Safety Abroad



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The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides a variety of resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector businesses and organizations operating abroad.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is the authoritative federal source for information on current health issues related to specific destinations worldwide. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers’ health.

Foreign Sources of Travel Guidance

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Global Affairs Canada



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Australia Dept. of Foreign Affairs




UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office



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