Officials ready to help Aussies in US

Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
The new ambassador to the US Arthur Sinodinos says Australians in need of help should reach out

Australian embassy and consulate staff are taking a "no one left behind" approach to helping Australians holed up in North America amid the coronavirus pandemic, Australia's new ambassador to the US Arthur Sinodinos says.

New York, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana and other states popular with Australians are under stay-at-home orders in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.

Mr Sinodinos said Australian embassy and consulate staff throughout the US and Canada are geared up to help Australians concerned and anxious about the situation.

"Our philosophy is no one left behind," Mr Sinodinos, who officially took over the crucial ambassadorship from Joe Hockey last month, said in a video posted on the Washington DC embassy's Twitter site.

"If you're in any doubt, please ask people at the embassy or any of the consulates for assistance."

The US has more than 64,000 cases across its 50 states, with at least 898 deaths including 285 in New York.

The Australian embassy's Facebook and Twitter sites, along with the Smarttraveller site, offers information including airport options for Australians who want to fly back to Australia.

"I never thought when I was taking up this post, we'd be facing the coronavirus crisis that we're facing today and like a lot of you I am anxious about it," Mr Sinodinos, a former federal Industry, Innovation and Science Minister, said.

"I'm concerned not only for myself, but for my family and the people I work with.

"So I understand that you're concerned and anxious, particularly when you're a long way from home, but our embassy, our consulates throughout North America are geared up to help."