By now you have likely heard of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December. We have been monitoring this outbreak closely and receiving updates and guidance from local, state, and federal partners. Given the spread of this new virus in China and to other countries, the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (NH DPHS) has provided new recommendations for people who have recently returned from China and have requested our assistance in sharing this information.
Late last week, the U.S. Department of State elevated its China travel advisory to a Level 4: Do Not Travel recommendation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency. As a result, there are new restrictions for individuals who have recently been in China, including a temporary ban on entry into the United States for foreign nationals who have been to mainland China in the last14 days (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents), and closer health monitoring of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who recently traveled to China and have returned to the United States.
As a result of these new steps to control spread of this 2019-nCoV, NH DPHS is requesting:
1. Any person who has travelled to any location in Hubei Province within the last 14 days, even if they are without symptoms, should stay home for 14days from their last day in China, and contact the NH DPHS at 603-271-4496 (after-hours: 603-271-5300), so that NH DPHS can assist them with monitoring their health;
2. Any person who has travelled to mainland China other than Hubei Province within the last 14days, even those without symptoms, should stay home for 14days from the last day of travel to China, and monitor themselves for fever and respiratory illness such as cough or shortness of breath. If travelers do develop fever or respiratory illness within 14 days of their departure from China, they should contact NH DPH Sat 603-271-4496 (after-hours: 603-271-5300).
This is a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to work with NH DPHS to respond appropriately. While the risk from this new virus remains low in New Hampshire, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from all viruses that can cause respiratory illness this time of year, including the common cold and flu. This includes frequent handwashing with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, staying home if you are sick, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
NH DPHS Website: https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/2019-ncov.htm