The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks, in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the new guidance from the CDC said. “Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.”
The CDC recommended organizers “cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.”
The number of coronavirus cases in the US passed 3,000 on Sunday, as a top health official warned that life in America will change while the country fights the outbreak.
“For a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.”
As of Sunday, there were at least 3,349 coronavirus cases in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington DC. At least 65 people have died. West Virginia remained the only state without any confirmed cases.
The US can expect more cases and deaths, Fauci said at a White House briefing Saturday. “We have not yet reached our peak.”
With the threat of further spread on the horizon, officials across the country have imposed a slew restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. Local governments have encouraged residents to stay home and practice social distancing. Some states, including California, New York and Washington state have banned large gatherings.
Schools are closing across the country, including in New York City, the country’s largest school district.
Restrictions placed on bars and restaurants
And the restrictions and closures keep coming.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state’s Department of Health Director Amy Acton would sign an order mandating bars and restaurants in the state close at 9 p.m. Sunday night. Carryout and food delivery will still be allowed, the governor said.
The order, DeWine said, “will be in effect until as long as it needs to.”
A similar order was announced in California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Sunday that bars, nightclubs, wineries and brewpubs will be closed. Restaurant capacities must also be reduced by half.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also ordered bars and restaurants to close, beginning at close of business Monday until March 30, he said Sunday. State officials are working to help coordinate food delivery with restaurants and delivery services. Drive-thru and curb-side pickup will also be allowed, the governor said.
In Boston, restaurants and bars will need to close by 11 p.m. every night, Mayor Marty Walsh said Sunday. These establishments must also reduce their capacity by 50% by removing and spreading out tables and chairs. The restrictions on hours do not apply to delivery or takeout services.
Officials in Hoboken, New Jersey announced a city-wide curfew startingMonday. Residents will be required to stay in their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., with exceptions for people who are required to report to work, Mayor Ravinder Bhalla said Saturday.
Bars and restaurants in Hoboken won’t be allowed to serve food inside their locations as of Sunday at 11 a.m. They “will be permitted to conduct food takeout and food delivery service only,” Bhalla said.
In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order Saturday requiring downhill ski resorts close for a week due to the presence of coronavirus in the mountain communities with limited care capacity. Officials will continue to monitor the outbreak and may amend the executive order, the governor’s office said.
Los Angeles County will temporarily suspend all jury trials through March 30, according to a source and an internal police memo obtained by CNN. Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein confirmed the contents of the memo to CNN.
The hiatus would include the murder trial of multi-millionaire Robert Durst, pending a final approval from the judge presiding over his case.
“The courts will re-examine the suspension decision continuance prior to March 30th,” the police memo states. “Personnel will be resubpoenaed through the courts for new jury trial dates.”
Trump says more tests will be available
President Trump declared a national emergency Friday, freeing up $50 billion in federal resources to combat the outbreaks.
“No resource will be spared, nothing whatsoever,” he said.
The Trump administration said Friday it was partnering with the private sector to also boost testing capacity with both more tests and drive-through testing.
The country’s testing system has received stark criticism from health officials and people who said they were turned away despite showing symptoms. Fauci said earlier this week the US testing system was failing to meet the public’s needs.
On Friday, Trump said 5 million coronavirus tests would be available within a month. He also said American retail executives would be donating resources to facilitate drive-through testing across the country.
But those companies later said they had few details on what they could offer or when test kits would be available.
Trump told reporters Saturday that he took a coronavirus test Friday night. The White House later said the test was negative.