WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday announced new large events and mass gathering guidelines surrounding the coronavirus, COVID-19.
The federal agency said it recommends for the next eight weeks organizers should cancel or postpone in-person events that involve 50 people or more throughout the United States. That includes conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, etc.
However, the new guidelines do not include schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. The advisory also doesn't supersede direction from state and local officials.
"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."
Large groups can contribute to the spread of COVID-19. These guidelines were made to reduce spreading the virus between communities and slow the outbreak.
COVID-19, the emerging respiratory disease, has infected more than 150,000 people and killed more than 5,700 worldwide. In the United States, over 2,900 people have been infected and about 60 people have died.
The disease for most people causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness.
Vice President Mike Pence, during an address Sunday afternoon, said more guidance will be released by the federal government soon.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning and said people in the U.S. "should be prepared that they're going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.