The CDC issued guidance Sunday evening that “large events and mass gatherings” of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Such events include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies that are planned “not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals,” said the CDC.
It noted that the recommendation doesn’t apply to “day to day operations of organizations,” such as schools and colleges and universities or business though many have been canceling in-person operations in favor of online classes and working from home, respectively.
The CDC said events “should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene and social distancing.” Vulnerable populations include seniors and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease and diabetes and social distancing refers to person-to-person contact six feet apart. The CDC recommends that organizers modify in-person events to virtual events whenever feasible.
“The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus,” which can be spread person-to-person primarily through close contact and respiratory droplets coming from an infected person when they cough or sneeze, according to the CDC website.