Canada temporarily closing borders to non-citizens, Americans exempted from ban

The Canadian border is closing to non-citizens amid a widening coronavirus pandemic across the world.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday the country was closing its borders to most people, taking "increasingly aggressive steps" to keep everyone safe.

He followed up saying that Americans were exempted from the border ban.

As countries and states see more coronavirus cases confirmed across the landscape, governments are taking increasingly drastic measures to slow the spread and reduce traffic between domestic and international borders.

"All Canadians as much as possible should stay home," Trudeau said outside his residence, where he is self-isolating after his wife tested positive for the virus.  Trudeau also his government will restrict flights to Canada to airports in four major cities.

The Canadian government is also mandating air carriers to screen passengers with symptoms of the novel coronavirus out of lines so they don't board planes home.

There are currently 53 positive cases of coronavirus in Michigan, with 12 new ones being reported late Sunday night. Canada has confirmed 324 cases as of 9 a.m.  March 16.

RELATED: Michigan raises number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in state to 53

Since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools, prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people, restricted visits to hospitals and other facilities, closed public spaces such as theaters, bars, gyms and casinos, and limited restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.  

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.