The Trump administration declared a public health emergency on Friday due to increasing outbreaks of the coronavirus. As part of his declaration, President Donald Trump suspended entry of immigrants and visitors who pose a risk of transmitting the disease, as well as imposing a quarantine on citizens arriving from China’s Hubei Provence.
The US declaration came a day after the World Health Organization declared the coronoavirus a “public health emergency of international concern.” Despite low risk within the US, the administration is taking offensive action to limit exposure after there had been seven confirmed cases throughout the country. There are now 11 confirmed cases.
The declaration took effect Sunday and enables the administration to take necessary measures to contain the spread of virus. US citizens who have been to China’s Hubei Provence in the past 14 days will be quarantined for an additional 14 days upon returning to the US. Further, the US is temporarily prohibiting most travelers arriving from China, or who have recently traveled to China, unless they are US citizens.
In a press release, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stated the administration is working to keep the risk low within the US. Azar has the authority to declare a public health emergency under the Public Health Service Act. The declaration is retroactive to January 27, 2020.