[guest post by Dana]
This morning, President Trump issued updated guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus:
“My administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts,” Trump said. “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 are going to have a big celebration altogether. With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly — a lot of progress has been made.”
“It’s important for the young and healthy people to understand that while they may experience milder symptoms, they can easily spread this virus and they will spread it indeed, putting countless others in harm’s way,” Trump said.
Asked by a reporter how long it would last, Trump replied, “people are talking about July, August, something like that.” He said he likes to say it “washes through” but “other people don’t like that term.”
The guidelines say that “In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped in to clarify that the new guidelines pertain to a 15 day trial period:
‘The guidelines are over a 15 day-trial guideline,’ Fauci said and then will be reconsidered. ‘The president was saying that the trajectory of the outbreak may go until then, make sure you don’t think that it’s solid in stone until July’ for the guidelines.
Trump also addressed questions about quarantines and a nationwide lockdown:
President Trump said a nationwide quarantine was not being considered “at this point.”
But he said “we may look at certain areas, certain hot spots, as they call them.”
Asked “Are you considering instituting a nationwide lockdown, a nationwide quarantine? There are still some questions about that,’ Trump then responded: “At this point, not nationwide. But there are some, you know, places in our nation that are not very effective at all but we may, we may look at certain areas, certain hot spots as they call them. We’ll be looking at that. But, at this moment, no we are not.”
— NSC (@WHNSC) March 16, 2020
Yesterday, the CDC issued new guidelines, including but not limited to:
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.
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. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
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.
Also, here is an round-up of coronovirus news throughout the world.
Several states have primaries tomorrow. Ohio’s governor is now calling to extend the state’s primary elections scheduled for Tuesday to June 2. Illinois State Board of Elections announced that the state was “proceeding with plans for tomorrow’s primary as scheduled.” No word yet from Arizona and Florida, who also have primary voting schduled for tomorrow.
Dr. Anthony Fauci calls on Americans to take the new coronavirus guidelines in social distancing “very seriously.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 16, 2020