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Public health officials reveal new guidance for travelers in response to coronavirus

MILWAUKEE — To slow the spread of coronavirus into the U.S., the Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) is working with state public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions.

Depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

Travel notices fall under different levels, with level 3 travel health notices indicating widespread and sustained transmission of coronavirus and level 2 travel health notices indicating sustained, but not widespread, community transmission.

As of Wednesday, March 4, the countries with level 2 and 3 travel health notices include: China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. Check the CDC’s Travel Information page for details on the various risks in those countries.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department is asking that travelers returning from countries with a CDC level 3 travel health notice (currently, China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea) to self-quarantine for 14 days after leaving the country and follow instructions for people with medium risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Returning travelers from a CDC level 2 travel health notice (currently, Japan) should monitor themselves for symptoms of the illness, such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. To stay up to date on the latest CDC Travel Health Advisories, CLICK HERE. People should keep in mind that this may be re-evaluated as new guidance becomes available.

A news release says everyone can do their part to help respond to coronavirus and to prevent its spread in our community by taking everyday preventative actions like washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap, cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, clean frequently touched surfaces, refrain from touching your face with your hands, and stay home from school or work if you are sick.

For travelers who develop symptoms of coronavirus within 14 days of leaving the country with a level 2 or 3 notice:

  • Call your health care provider. Call ahead before you go to your doctor’s office or to an emergency room. Tell them your symptoms and that you traveled to an area of the world experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Do not use public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  • If you have a face mask, wear it if you need to be around other people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze.

Anyone needing emergency medical attention during their monitoring period should call 911 and let them know that they traveled to an area of the world experiencing a coronavirus outbreak.

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