• The State Department advised Americans who cannot get home to make plans to shelter in place
  • Officials warned if Americans don't return home now, they may get trapped as more countries lock down their populations
  • CBS reports the border with Mexico could be closed to all nonessential travel as early as Friday

The U.S. State Department warned Americans Thursday against international travel, advising them to return home immediately or make plans to shelter in place to reduce the chance of contracting the coronavirus, which has infected more than 236,400 people worldwide, killing at least 9,790.

A report the U.S. could close its border with Mexico as early as Friday.

“The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel at this time due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice,” the State Department said on its website.

The advisory said U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents will be allowed to return from Europe but may only travel to specific airports equipped with enhanced screening procedures. Those who have been in China will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

State also advised against travel by cruise ship, especially by older Americans, who are affected more severely by the virus. State said the risk of infection aboard cruise ships appears to be higher.

At a White House briefing, President Trump said his administration is considering using the military to transport Americans who have been stranded abroad, particularly in Morocco, Peru, Honduras and Tunisia.

“We have a group of young people in Peru, and we’re working on taking care of that with the military,” said Trump. “We’re trying to get them out. They got caught. … It’s a large group, it’s about 300.”

Expanded testing in the U.S. indicated there were at least 11,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with at least 160 deaths.

Trump said Thursday a pair of malaria drugs are showing promise as treatment for the virus, which originated in China.

CBS reported the U.S. border with Mexico could be closed to all nonessential travel as early as Friday. The report said the closure would be similar to the one with Canada announced Wednesday and would still permit the transportation of goods.