The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new recommendation on Sunday that gatherings of 50 people or more should be cancelled for the next eight weeks.
"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," the agency said.
Conferences, festivals, weddings, parades, concerts, and sporting events, are some examples of large gatherings the CDC listed as being affected by the recommendation.
"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 CDC said. "When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual."
While many schools and colleges across the country have already announced that classes will remain virtual for the rest of the semester, the CDC’s guidelines don’t apply to them or businesses.
"This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials," CDC said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned that we are nowhere near being done with coronavirus in the U.S.
"The worst is yet ahead for us," he said. "It is how we respond to that challenge that’s going to determine what that ultimate endpoint is going to be."