In a short statement to the nation on March 16, President Donald Trump announced further guidelines for every American to follow over the next 15 days.
The administration is recommending that all Americans “work from home if possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid discretionary travel, and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts,” Trump said.
Many states have already taken serious measures to decrease social interaction, including decrees that restaurants and bars should close. New York City has shuttered it schools, which serve over 1.1 million students, as have other states.
The importance of social distancing at this stage of the virus cannot be overstated, according to experts. Dr. Deborah Burke, who spoke after Trump at the press conference, emphasized that “if you are sick, no matter who you are,” you need to stay home to avoid spreading the virus to others.
“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” Trump said of his administration’s 15-day guidelines.
When asked by a reporter how long all of this will last, Trump said that the situation will extend until July or August, at the earliest.
The U.S. currently has over 3,000 cases of the coronavirus and there have been at least 69 deaths. Globally, there are more than 173,000 cases of the virus, with the most in China and then Italy.
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