President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he will be extending the nation's social distancing guidelines through April 30 pursuant to the advice of medical professionals, CDC scientists, and his advisers.
While the country's initial 15-day period of social distancing that began on March 16 is set to expire on Monday, the president decided to carry through the recommendations to the end of next month because the risks of a premature return to normalcy were too high.
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A 'wise and prudent decision'
"The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," the president said at a White House press briefing, according to CNN. "Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th, to slow the spread. On Tuesday we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data, and strategy to the American people."
The president noted that the forecasts he has seen show that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to peak at some point within the next two weeks, around Easter. Trump also expressed optimism that the nation might find itself in a better place by the end of spring.
"We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1st. A lot of great things will be happening," he said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who helps lead the federal response to the coronavirus, praised Trump's extension as "a wise and prudent decision."
About the guidelines
The White House's social distancing recommendations urge Americans to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus in their communities by regularly washing their hands, avoiding discretionary travel, and working from home.
If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider.
If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.