CDC recommends no gatherings of over 50 people for eight weeks
March 15, 2020
Amid growing concern surrounding the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the cancellation or postponement of all non-essential gatherings upward of 50 people. Released on Sunday evening, the CDC’s new guidelines do not extend to “operations of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.”
The recommendation also cautions events of any size to adhere to the limitations proffered by the recommendation.
As of Sunday evening, there have been over 162,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus COVID-19 worldwide, with 6,000 dead internationally and 62 dead in the United States of America. Italy recently emerged as the European epicenter of the novel strain, with the European nation reporting 368 deaths over the past 24 hours.
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and has adopted unprecedented policies to combat the spread of the virus. Four states–Illinois, Ohio, California and Massachusetts–closed restaurants to dine-in consumers.
The United States also implemented a European travel ban, leading to what Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker described as “dangerous” overcrowding and extended lines absent of sanitary means.
Read the CDC’s full recommendation below:
Guidance as of 3/15/2020
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.