Updated Mar 15, 2020 - Health

New CDC coronavirus guide: Cancel large gatherings of 50-plus people

A sign reads 'Today's Performance Is Canceled' at the shuttered Walt Disney Concert Hall
A sign reads "Today's Performance Is Canceled" at the shuttered Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles,on Sunday. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The CDC said in new guidelines Sunday that gatherings of 50 or more people should be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

What they're saying: "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," the CDC said in a statement. "Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies."

Exceptions: The CDC said the recommendation does not apply to "the day to day operation of organizations." These include schools and businesses.

Yes, but: At least 57,000 K-12 schools across the U.S. have closed or will close temporarily in response to the outbreak.

Hygiene precautions: The CDC said in its statement events "of any size" should only be continued if they can adhere to guidelines for "protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing." 

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 69 people and infected more than 3,700 others in the United States.

Read the full guidelines:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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