As coronavirus spreads, CDC warns Americans about traveling within the U.S.

With the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continuing to grow, public health officials have issued a warning to people thinking about traveling within the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a new guide Wednesday answering common questions about the risks the novel coronavirus pandemic poses to Americans traveling domestically.

“CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States,” the agency said on its website. “However, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease.”

Health officials warned that travelers are at high risk of contracting the illness in crowded places, including conferences, public events, religious gatherings, public spaces like movie theaters and shopping malls, and public transportation. The CDC also noted that going to an airport raises your risk of contracting the coronavirus if another traveler there has COVID-19.

The CDC noted that travelers should consider whether their home town or the destination they’re planning to visit has a high number of cases. “If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be at higher risk of exposure if you travel there,” the CDC said. “Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition.”

Additionally, the public health agency warned that those who do decide to travel may be asked by their employer or school to stay home for up to 14 days after traveling to avoid spreading the illness.

The CDC’s new advisory also linked to previous guidance it had released regarding precautionary measures people can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which had infected 128,392 people globally and killed 4,728 as of Friday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering; it also reported 69,607 recoveries. The U.S. had 1,701 confirmed coronavirus cases and 40 deaths.

Airlines stocks fell sharply Thursday following President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would ban travelers from coming to the U.S. from the Schengen Area of Europe. United Airlines UAL, +12.29% , JetBlue Airways JBLU, -2.69% , and Southwest Airlines LUV, +14.44% were all down upwards of 10% mid-day Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +9.36% , S&P 500 SPX, +9.28% and Nasdaq COMP, +9.34% have fallen by less than that.

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