Medical

CDC recommends no gatherings over 50 people for next 8 weeks

Photo of the CDC. (Provided Photo/CNN)

(WISH/AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended canceling or postponing gatherings of more than 50 people across the country for the next eight weeks.

The recommendation comes as officials across the country curtailed elements of American life to fight the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, with governors closing restaurants, bars, and schools and a government expert saying a 14-day national shutdown may be needed.

Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all bars and restaurants in Ohio closed as of 9 p.m. Sunday to stem the coronavirus outbreak. DeWine said concerns from around the state about crowded bars, especially in light of the upcoming St. Patrick’s holiday, prompted the action.

“The time for persuasion and public appeals is over,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “This is not a joke. No one is immune to this.”

Pritzker said he had tried earlier this week to appeal to everyone’s good judgment to stay home, to avoid bars, and not congregate in crowds. He added that it is unfortunate that many people didn’t take that seriously.

Full statement from the CDC:

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 businessesThis 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.

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