National Situation Update- 4/5/2020


CDC recommends the use of cloth face coverings, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. - ALLOW IMAGES

CDC: Everyone Should Wear Face Masks In Public

April 4, 2020

Between March 28 – April 3, the following related Flash SMS
messages were sent to
AlertsUSA subscriber mobile devices:

4/3 – POTUS: CDC recommending all Americans wear basic cloth mask to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This is voluntary, but recommended.

4/2 – NY Mayor tells city residents they should wear homemade face coverings in public to help prevent further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

4/1 – POTUS: US launching enhanced counter-narcotics ops in the Western Hemisphere. Add’l ships & aircraft being deployed to E. Pacific and Caribbean.

4/1 – USNORTHCOM Cmdr. Gen O’Shaughnessy: DoD to incr mil presence on US/MX border to protect nation from poss COVID-19 migrants. Hundreds of troops to deploy soon.

4/1 – FL Gov. DeSantis to issue 30-day stay-at-home order for state’s ~21 million residents unless they are pursuing “essential services or activities.”

3/31 – POTUS: “Absolutely critical to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days. It’s a matter of life and death.” “This is going to be a rough two-week period.”

3/30 – VA Gov. issues stay-at-home order for the state. MD Gov. issues stay-at-home order for the state. PA Gov. closes all schools indefinitely.

3/29 – TX Gov orders mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals, by air or land, from LA, NY, NJ & CT. Trip details & contact info collected, to be enforced by TX DPS.

3/29 – FL Gov. orders checkpoints at state borders to stop drivers coming from COVID-19 hot spots. Trip details & contact info collected, quarantine orders given.

3/28 – The CDC urges residents of NY, NJ, and CT to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. More via email.

3/28 – Speaking to reporters minutes ago, POTUS says considering imposing a quarantine for COVID-19 hot spots such as NY, extending to NJ & CT. AlertsUSA monitoring..

What You Need To Know

On 12 occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding safety and security matters. 11 these alerts dealt with the worsening domestic and international public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.


Beginning last Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Domestic Travel Advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, urging residents of these three state to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days. While the CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States, cases of coronavirus disease are widespread in each of these states, and in crowded travel settings, there may be an increased chance or getting or spreading COVID-19, particularly as it is possible to be shedding the virus while being completely asymptomatic.


Last week, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-80 in response to a growing number of individuals fleeing these states, arriving in Florida and exposing residents to the disease. The action mandates individuals arriving in Florida from these states must isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from when they arrive, or for their entire stay if shorter than 14 days.

This week, DeSantis issued a new Executive Order extending the quarantine requirement to motorists arriving in Florida from areas with significant community spread (LA, NY, NJ, CT, etc..), and to require those persons to provide information, including in a written form, regarding the origin of their travel and the address of their location of isolation or quarantine for a period of 14 days. Failure to complete the form and failure to follow isolation or quarantine orders from the Dept. of Health are considered a violation of Florida law.


On Sunday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order mandating a 14-day quarantine for road travelers arriving in Texas from any location in Louisiana. The self-quarantine procedure will mirror the process outlined in the Governor’s previous Executive Order requiring mandatory self-quarantine for air travelers from the New York Tri-State Area and New Orleans.

These quarantine orders for both Florida and Texas do not apply to travel related to commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions.


Also on Sunday, President Donald Trump extended the voluntary national shutdown for another 30 days as sickness and death from the coronavirus pandemic continue to rise in the U.S


On Tuesday afternoon during the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing, President Trump warned the nation to brace for a “rough two-week period” ahead as new projections indicate there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. Public health officials stress that the number could be less if people change their behavior. According to Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the Coronavirus Task Force, “We really believe we can do a lot better than that” if all Americans take seriously their role in preventing the spread of disease.


On Wednesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of an announcement by Gen. Terrance O’Shaughnessy, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, that the Dept. of Defense would be increasing the military presence on US/Mexico border to protect nation from possible COVID-19 migrants. Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, the commander of U.S. Army North, said the additional 540 U.S. troops would help Border Patrol with newly granted authorities to apprehend and immediately return migrants potentially infected with COVID-19.


And on Friday, President Trump announced a new CDC recommendation that all Americans wear basic cloth masks, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission of the coronavirus. According to the CDC, recent studies show that a portion of individuals with coronavirus are “asymptomatic,” or not showing any symptoms, but can still transmit the virus to others. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity, including just speaking, even though no one might be exhibiting symptoms at that time.

In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain such as in grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. For clarity, this is a voluntary public health measure, and is intended to compliment, and not replace, the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which remains the cornerstone of the national effort to slow the spread of the disease.


Don’t buy the masks online. Most are made in China anyhow.

Make it at home.

CDC Homemade Cloth Face Coverings
Instructables DIY Cloth Face Mask
NYT How to Sew a Face Mask
The Olson Mask Pattern


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

Johns Hopkins CSSE COVID-19 U.S. Case Count Graph - ALLOW IMAGES


China Very High
Regional Level Very High
Global Level Very High


White House

The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America (PDF)

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.


3/31 – Shallow M6.5 earthquake in Southern Idaho, 72km W of Challis. AlertsUSA monitoring for damage reports.

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Communication is key to any mission and Soldiers from the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion are supporting U. S. Army North (Fifth Army)in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing reliable communications for medical units, logistical units, and headquarters staff. These missions are part of Defense Support of Civilian Authorities (DSCA). Teams are actively providing support to medical units at the Jacob Javits center in New York City and have postured at Joint-Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ and Anderson, SC for follow-on missions. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) - ALLOW IMAGES

Pandemics and the U.S. Military:
Lessons from 1918

The novel coronavirus will hit the U.S. military and its allies hard, as already there have been outbreaks at the Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island and on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. How hard will depend on a number of variables — some having to do with the virus itself (how and to what extent it mutates, whether it comes back in subsequent waves, etc.) and others having to do with what measures militaries take to protect themselves. But it would be foolhardy to underestimate the damage COVID-19 could do.


Why A Coronavirus Vaccine May Be Years Away

Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, says, “I don’t see eighteen months—Dr. Anthony Fauci could see something I don’t here, he is certainly closer to it—but I think eighteen months is a very, very, very optimistic timeline.”


Coronavirus: China Floods Europe
With Defective Medical Equipment

As the coronavirus rages across Europe, a growing number of countries are reporting that millions of pieces of medical equipment donated by, or purchased from, China to defeat the pandemic are defective and unusable


These 23 Air Force Missions Are
Transferring to the Space Force

The U.S. Air Force has identified 23 organizations and units with space-specific missions that will transition to the U.S. Space Force over the next six months.


Fleet and Marine Tracker Map as of April 3, 2020  - ALLOW IMAGE8

USNI Fleet and Marine Tracker

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of April 3rd, 2020 based on Navy, public data provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, and open source reporting. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

USNS Comfort arrives in New York Harbor, March 31, 2020.

World News Roundup


With COVID-19 threat, USAF takes steps to protect its most important missions
Naval War College pandemic war game in 2019 had eerie parallels
Navy Rushes Shipbuilding Deals To Keep Yards Going In Pandemic
World’s largest aircraft will now test hypersonics for the military
Pentagon orders 100,000 body bags as 200,000 people are expected to die
500 troops to Mexican border to aid agents struggling with security
Trump sends Navy destroyers and combat ships to crack down on ‘traffickers
Marine Corps boot camp base Parris Island stops accepting new recruits
Treasury sanctions Quds force fronts in Iraq
265 MILLION Americans – 80% of the population – ordered to stay home
Amid coronavirus scare, Americans flock to remote land, survival retreats
Outbreak could leave lasting imprint: Masks as normal part of life…
NYC mayor urges people to cover faces in public
One in four coronavirus patients have NO symptoms, CDC director
Half of humanity now on lockdown as 90 countries call for confinement
3.4 million travellers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted
Why A Coronavirus Vaccine May Be Years Away
Navy fires captain of aircraft carrier over leak of letter to leadership
Economic fallout mounts, worldwide cases top 1 million
Venezuelan Navy boat rams German cruise ship and sinks


Coronavirus Started in China, but Europe Became the Hub for Its Global Spread
U.S. paying Russia for entire planeload of coronavirus equipment
Nato names expert panel after Emmanuel Macron ‘brain death’ remarks
France reports new daily record of 509 coronavirus deaths
French PM warns lockdown will not be lifted ‘in one go’
UK reports daily death toll of 563 in worst day of coronavirus crisis
Trump tears into Boris Johnson’s failure to respond early to coronavirus crisis
Prince Charles: COVID-19 is ‘strange,’ ‘frustrating’ and ‘distressing’
Wimbledon is CANCELLED for the first time since World War II
Germany suffers biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths for 2nd day in a row
Merkel tells Germans to stay home until after Easter to beat virus


Iran warns about American ‘military moves’ in Iraq
Trump warns Iran of ‘heavy price’ in case of attack on US troops
U.S. says believes Iran directly involved in killing of Iranian dissident in Turkey
Africa faces an ‘existential threat’ as virus cases spread
ISIS tells followers to show no mercy and launch attacks during COVID-19 crisis
2nd aircraft carrier set to leave the Middle East
South Africa: Impressions from a country in lockdown
With no space or water, Cape Town slum has little to face coronavirus
Coronavirus outbreak hinders run-up to Ethiopia elections
Somalia bans swimming over Covid-19
East Africa locust swarms gather as coronavirus curbs delay pesticides
G-20 prepares coronavirus rescue package for Africa
Iran hits out at US as virus death toll passes 3,000
Coronavirus: Iran is facing a major challenge controlling the outbreak
Turkey’s coronavirus death toll rises to 277, with 15,679 total cases
War-torn Yemen ‘not equipped’ for potential coronavirus outbreak
Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia asks Muslims to delay Hajj bookings
Israelis told to mask up in public, mark religious holidays with close family only
Israel to transfer all travelers from abroad to quarantine facilities


Japanese warship, China fishing boat collide in East China Sea
Beijing ‘will not stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered
Wuhan Residents Line Up for Hours to Buy Graves for Loved Ones
Wuhan’s lockdown is being lifted but doubts remain it will ever return to normal
Coronavirus fear stokes panic buying and price rises in Afghanistan
Indonesia bans foreigners as study warns 240,000 could die from coronavirus
Australia’s slow reaction to the coronavirus crisis
Australia starts putting time limits on ‘draconian’ virus measures
Chinese county goes into coronavirus lockdown amid fear of second wave
China says new coronavirus cases drop, starts posting asymptomatic tally too
China reports asymptomatic cases — nearly 150 — for first time
Wuhan’s first ‘imported case’: Chinese student, 16, who studies in the UK
Beijing comes cautiously back to life as COVID-19 hits hardest beyond China
Coronavirus: How China’s using surveillance to tackle outbreak
Virus data: What’s known and not known about China’s numbers

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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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