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U.S. moves from social distancing to lockdowns

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 3/20/20, 06:03 pm

Any U.S. citizens already out of the country should try to get home if at all possible, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday. Officials told Americans to cancel any overseas trips and said it would only consider passport applications for “life-or-death emergencies.” Americans trying to return home likely will find travel difficult as international transportation options shrink.

Are there any other new restrictions? Those who manage to return to the United States will come home to expanded social isolation measures. U.S. cases had surpassed 17,000 by Friday afternoon and the death toll climbed past 200, according to Johns Hopkins University. The governors of California, Illinois, and New York ordered all residents to stay home indefinitely and only go outside for essential jobs, errands, and some exercise. And the United States and Mexico said they are closing the border between the countries to any nonessential travel. But not everything is getting stricter: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced an extension of the federal income tax filing deadline to July 15, but he encouraged those who expect a refund to go ahead and file.

Dig deeper: Read Daniel James Devine’s report about how churches can respond to limits on gatherings.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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