2019 Novel Coronavirus: Feb. 2, 2020 Update


Given the volume of important information shared over the past week associated with the evolving and expanding domestic response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Wuhan, China, we thought it may be helpful to you if we provided this overview covering very recent items of significance:

U.S. Government:

World Health Organization (WHO):

Other Resources:

CDC Requests State Contact Information for 2019-nCoV Communication (Jan. 31)

To facilitate timely communication between CDC and state and territorial health departments regarding the 2019-nCoV response, CDC is asking jurisdictions to identify one primary and one secondary point of contact (POC) to receive critical communication regarding the response. In addition, CDC is requesting that jurisdictions provide a telephone number that is answered 24-hours a day in case of emergencies. CDC sent its first request for information on Jan. 29 and will send follow-up requests every two weeks to ensure jurisdictional information is up-to-date. Jurisdictions should submit POC information to preparedness@cdc.gov.

Coronavirus Message (Jan. 31) from CDC’s Office of Grant Services on Temporary Reassignment of Personnel

“Dear Colleague, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware that the response to novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) may require that you mobilize public health capabilities including the reassignment of personnel from their normal duties including those funded by CDC grants. On January 31, 2020, a public health emergency was declared by Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) pursuant to Section 319(e) of the Public Health Service Act [42 USC 247d(e)] – and the related delegation of that authority, activating the temporary reassignment of state and local personnel during a public health emergency only to the extent necessary, as determined by the CDC, to ensure sufficient flexibility to address the immediate need for staffing as a result of the consequences of this emergency. States and local governments may be reimbursed for such costs, absent any determination of fraud or abuse. CDC will provide detailed guidance in coordination with the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in a subsequent communication outlining the submission process for your requests.”

In a very related topic, CDC advises states/territories to consult their PHEP and/or ELC Cooperative Agreement Project Officers to discuss the process to be followed if there is a need to redirect resources and reallocate funds to support 2019 nCoV preparedness and response activities.

CDC’s Regularly Scheduled 2019-nCoV All-States Call Tomorrow, Feb. 3

Tomorrow, CDC will host its regularly scheduled 2019-nCoV call at 2 p.m. ET. Topics include ongoing containment strategies and tactics including airport funneling screening and monitoring, repatriation efforts, and case ascertainment and management will most likely be discussed. Call-in information: 1(800)-857-6697; Participant Passcode: 1324420

Brief ASTHO Updates:

  • ASTHO is now operating at Incident Response Level III (second highest).
  • Beginning tomorrow, Feb. 3, ASTHO will have a Liaison Officer (LNO), Marcus Plescia, embedded at the CDC Emergency Operations Center.
  • Following this past Friday’s ASTHO all-S/THO call, we sent 10 questions/requests proffered by members down to CDC for their consideration. Many of them are currently being worked on as part of a larger effort to provide additional guidance to state and territorial partners and we recommended that they try to touch on the raised points during their call tomorrow.
  • We are continuing to work to retain the services of a risk communications consultant to help us develop a set of FAQs and message maps for difficult-to-answer questions, very similar to what we did during Ebola and Zika. Stay tuned.
  • ASTHO’s Government Affairs team continues to lead our efforts in characterizing your unmet preparedness and response needs and is closely monitoring and engaging in discussions regarding the availability and use of the existing CDC Infectious Disease Emergency Reserve Fund and the prospects for a Congressional emergency supplemental appropriation.
  • We established and will maintain a repository of curated information on the my.ASTHO online community platform. This factsheet provides you with helpful information on how to help manage, contribute to, and maximize your use of this resource.
  • The next ASTHO hosted all-S/THO call on nCoV is planned for this Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m.
  • For questions or information exchange, please contact preparedness@astho.org.

The above information is provided through CDC and CT DPH

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