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EDM Monday Briefing: CDC Issues Quarantine for 195 Citizens Evacuated from China

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 3, 2020: WHO confirms the first coronavirus death outside of China; the CDC has issued a federal quarantine order for the 195 citizens evacuated out of China last week; two people were killed in a fiery crash that involved a fuel tanker on I-85 in Atlanta; multiple Cincinnati-area schools were closed Thursday and Friday last week due to the flu; a roof collapse on a stadium in Russia has killed one person; the release of radioactive wastewater into the ocean from the damaged Fukushima Nuclear Plant has been given a rough approval; London authorities are now calling a stabbing attack that injured three in London a terrorist-related incident; and FEMA is now accepting applications for its Youth Preparedness Council.

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1) The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the first death to occur outside of China of someone with a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus has been recorded in the Philippines. The virus has spread to 28 countries, with the U.S. now having a total of 11 confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV after two more people tested positive in California over the weekend. Although the virus can be spread human-to-human, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not recommending the use of face masks for the general public.

2) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued federal quarantine orders for the 195 citizens that were repatriated to the United States from China last week to prevent the spread of the 2019-nCoV. According to the CDC, the 14-day quarantine period began the day the plane left China, and the individuals will continue to be housed at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, for the remainder of the quarantine. The legal order also stated that the quarantine “is part of a public health response that is necessary to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus in the United States.”

3) Two people were killed in Atlanta on Saturday after an accident caused a fuel tanker carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel to roll several times and then erupt in flames. The fiery crash, which occurred on Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County and shot flames 30 feet in the air, shut down all lanes and prompted authorities to evacuate people from their vehicles. The ensuing fire damaged the interstate and sparked multiple other fires” in and around the highway, closing the route — at least partially — for about 10 hours.

4) Multiple schools were closed on Thursday and Friday last week in Cincinnati, after hundreds of students and dozens of staff members were reported absent due to the flu. Three Rivers Local School District was just one school district that closed all its schools and cancelled after-school activities for the two days due to the high number of absences. The closure will allow staff to thoroughly disinfect surfaces throughout the buildings in an effort to prevent the spread of the flu.

5) One worker is dead following the collapse of a roof on a sports stadium in Russia. The St. Petersburg Sports and Concert Complex, built for the 1980 Olympics, was undergoing reconstruction to host the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championships when the collapse occurred. The man who died was one of four workers cutting metal cables atop the complex when the roof gave way and collapsed into a pile of rubble below.

6) A proposal to release at least 1.2 million gallons of stored radioactive wastewater into the ocean has garnered a rough approval by a government panel in Japan. The ever-growing, radioactive water that is being collected at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant comes from leakage of contaminated cooling water from the damaged reactors that is pumped, treated, and stored. Almost nine years ago, the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant was damaged by a 9.0 earthquake which caused a major tsunami that flooded three of the six reactors, causing a meltdown.

7) Three people were injured, including one whose injuries were considered life-threatening, in a stabbing attack in the south of London that is being declared a terrorist-related incident by authorities. The man, allegedly wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest, was subsequently shot and killed by police. The incident prompted a massive emergency response that included helicopters, multiple ambulances, and local and plainclothes police.

8) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council, which was established in 2012 to help young leaders learn about disaster preparedness. Students in grades 8-11 are eligible to apply. If selected, those students would serve a two-year term that culminates with a Youth Preparedness Council Summit in Washington, DC. Completed applications must be received by the deadline, which is March 8, 2020. Applications must include academic records and letters of recommendation.


Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.

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