US May Need to Close Schools and Businesses to Mitigate Spread- From CDC Teleconference transcripts

US may need to close schools and businesses to mitigate spread.

From: “ (CDC)” <sohco@CDC.GOV>
Subject: Media Advisory: CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19
Date: Feb 21, 2020 10:45 AM

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release
Friday, Feb. 21, 2020

Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19

What The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide an update to media on the COVID-19 response.

Who Nancy Messonnier, M.D., Director,
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

Ian Brownlee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary,
Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State

When 12:15 p.m. ET Friday, February 21, 2020


Media: 800-857-9756
International: 1-212-287-1647
PASSCODE: redacted

Non-Media: 888-795-0855

International: 1-630-395-0498
PASSCODE: redacted

Important Instructions
Due to anticipated high volume, please plan to dial in to the telebriefing 15 minutes before the start time.

Media: If you would like to ask a question during the call, press *1 on your touchtone phone. Press *2 to withdraw your question. You may queue up at any time. You will hear a tone to indicate your question is pending.

A transcript will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web


Teleconference notes:

Department of State and CDC reps participating…..

Reconsider cruise ship travel in Asia. US repatriation flights are not common. US citizens should consider possible quarantine procedures in Asia. All US travelers should register with state department when traveling abroad.

Change in reporting COVID-19

1) Returnees

2) Domestic cases

Domestic cases reflect more what is going on in US with COVID-19

13 domestic cases (I guess 2 from previous total of 15 were moved to the returnee category?) + 21 returnees in US.

Diamond Princess had 329 returnees to US. 18 have tested positive at CDC. Expect to see more cases among passengers. Trying to make their quarantine as easy as possible. Working with local hospitals to provide care to these returnees.

Humbolt county, California case is most recent confirmed domestic US case.

Never expected all travelers from China who are COVID-19 positive to be caught by airport screenings. Not seeing community spread in US YET, likely it will happen.

Tremendous public health threat. No vaccine and no specific drug. Getting ready for possible pandemic. Working with local health systems across country.

Trying to ensure health care workers on the front line have PPE.

See MMWR – Community Mitigation Guidelines for Pandemic

US may need to close schools and businesses to mitigate spread.

CDC guidances will change as more information is developed.

Steroids treatment? CDC clinical guidance is not recommending steroids at this time. Older people and those with underlying illnesses appear to have worse outcomes. (Something about not getting verified treatment info from China…)

Infections in returnees was pre-existing (emerging). Not developed in route.

Why more cases in Diamond Princess returnees expected? High risk situation on ship.

No lag time in testing at CDC.

Re-doing reagents in kits. Reworking test kits is part of emerging disease process.

More data coming out about the asymptomatic cases. Trying to understand situation. Possible many of those cases actually had mild symptoms.

Iran situation? Looking at official cases + rumors. Data is very new. Evaluating. Working with W.H.O. on this.

Broadening recommendation for screening? In process of setting up flu monitoring apparatus for this disease. Always re-evaluating case definitions. See CDC page for current definition.
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