The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people across the U.S. to cancel or postpone events with 50 or more attendees for the next eight weeks to try to contain the fast-moving Coronavirus pandemic, the agency said in revised guidance issued Sunday.
The CDC said individuals and organizations should reschedule large events and that gatherings of any size should be reconsidered unless organizers can protect vulnerable people, ensure proper hand hygiene and social distancing.
“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 CDC said. It cited conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events and weddings as examples of gatherings that should be postponed.
The guidance doesn’t apply to schools, universities or businesses, the CDC said.
The COVID-19 outbreak has quickly infected nearly every state in the U.S. in the matter of weeks, spreading from roughly 100 people on March 1 to almost 3,300 people by Sunday, according to data compiled by the CDC, World Health Organization and Johns Hopkins University. The virus has already killed 62 people in the U.S. and the number of infections and deaths here will continue to rise, public officials say. Tens of thousands more cases are suspected in the U.S., but haven’t been diagnosed yet, because of delays and constraints on testing, state and local leaders have complained.