‘Each and every one of us has a critical role to play in stopping the spread,’ the president said in the White House briefing room.
He predicted the virus would be a threat until the summer.
‘People are talking about July, August, something like that,’ Trump said.
The two-page list, called ’15 Days to Slow the Spread,’ advises avoiding ‘eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive through, pickup, and delivery options.
It also calls on governors that have states with ‘evidence of community transmission’ to close schools in the affected areas.’ And it asks those states to address childcare issues as well as nutritional needs of children who use schools for their meals.
‘We would much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it and that’s where we are,’ Trump said. ‘Therefore, my administration is recommending that all Americans including the young and healthy work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid a gathering in groups of more than ten people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts.’
He urged Americans to work together to fight the spread of the disease. And noted the country would celebrate together when the virus was defeated.
‘If everyone makes this change are these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we are going to have a big celebration altogether. We can turn the corner and turn it quickly, a lot of progress has been made,’ he said.
The recommendations also state that if you ‘are an older person, stay home and away from other people.’
And it advises that ‘even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others.’
The guidelines also suggest avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people, avoiding ‘discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits,’ and not to visit nursing homes.
Additionally, there are practical suggestions including following the directions of authorities, stay home if feel sick, staying home if you have the virus, and practicing good hygiene.
The guidelines come as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announce their states are shutting down at 8 p.m. and several states have announced extended school closures.
New York will close its bars and restaurants at 8pm on Monday night for ‘as long as necessary’ along with casinos, gyms and movie theaters as part of an effort with neighboring states Connecticut and New Jersey to stop the spread of coronavirus.
New Jersey has also launched a statewide ‘curfew’ between the hours of 8pm and 5am for all ‘non essential travel’ but it is unclear what that is or what will happen to anyone who does not follow the rules.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has not confirmed whether or not people will be able to go to work between those hours or how he plans to enforce it, but is only saying that he ‘strongly discourages’ anyone from leaving home between those hours.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the shutdown in a tweet on Monday morning after urging Trump to shut down the country to fight coronavirus and said the current ‘patchwork quilt’ system of some states being more vigilant than others is not working.
The order applies to New York City too.
There are more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and 71 people have died.
Additionally, San Francisco’s mayor has announced an unprecedented three week lockdown that will begin on Tuesday at midnight and bans anyone from leaving their home for anything other than doctor’s visits or trips to the grocery store.
In addition to the lockdown in city parameters, six counties in the Bay Area are being told to ‘shelter in place’.
The lockdown is the strictest action to be taken in America. Anyone who breaks it faces legal repercussions.
It will last until April 7. Mayor London Breed called it a ‘defining moment’ on Monday morning.
‘This is going to be a defining moment for our city.
‘We all have a responsibility to do our part to protect our neighbors and slow the spread of this virus by staying at home unless it is absolutely essential to go outside,’ she said.