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CDC issues travel guidelines for Hong Kong after second coronavirus-related death in the city

A customer has his temperature taken during a screening outside a Cafe de Jargor restaurant during its first day of operations in Hong Kong, China, on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.

Chan Long Hei | Bloomberg Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Wednesday for American travelers to Hong Kong after the city reported its second death from the new coronavirus.

Travelers to Hong Kong should avoid contact with sick people, the CDC said, and regularly wash their hands. It is the CDC’s lowest-level travel warning, but it is the first coronavirus-related travel notice issued by the U.S. government for a territory beyond mainland China.

The CDC said it issued the notice because “multiple instances of community spread have been reported in Hong Kong.”

“Community spread means that people in Hong Kong have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known,” according to the CDC.

The announcement comes after a Hong Kong hospital confirmed the death on Wednesday of a 70-year-old man due to the virus. It is the second coronavirus-related death in the city. The man was one of at least 62 patients with coronavirus in Hong Kong.

Last month, the CDC issued a level three travel warning for all of China, telling Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. That decision was an expansion of its prior travel warning from the city of Wuhan to the entire country as the coronavirus outbreak worsened.

As of Wednesday, the new coronavirus, which the World Health Organization named COVID-19, has infected more than 75,200 in over two dozen countries, killing at least 2,000 people.