The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Sunday that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed to guard against the Chinese coronavirus.
The agency’s guidance stated:
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. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
The CDC also encouraged organizers to modify their events to a virtual format if at all possible to protect citizens during the health crisis.
“Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing,” the site read.
At least for a day, the agency’s decision removes the worst-case scenario of the government ordering a complete lockdown and telling citizens to stay indoors unless they have jobs in essential functions, such as working in hospitals, public utilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, or as first responders.
It also suggests that small gatherings may still take place.
The guidance continued:
This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.
Tuesday, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said health experts did not expect most people to become seriously ill with the disease, according to Breitbart News.
This is a time for people to prepare for what they might need to do but not a time for people to clear out the shelves. And I really want to focus on the United States and the families at highest risk because in the setting where it’s really clear that it is older Americans who are at the highest risk right now, we want to make sure that they’re taking every precaution to prepare themselves so that if there is more widespread transmission, they can stick close to home.
Sunday, President Donald Trump urged Americans to “just relax” and not over-purchase supplies during the health crisis because top grocery store CEOs had asked him to tell them they needed to buy “a little bit less.”
“There’s no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies,” he explained, adding, “There’s plenty. You don’t have to buy the quantities. Because its hard to fill the stores.”