Mar 8, 2020 - Health

Surgeon general: U.S. is moving to "mitigation phase" of coronavirus response

Screenshot: CNN's "State of the Union"

Cities around the country should start preparing for more cases of coronavirus and think about canceling large gatherings and closing schools "to prevent more deaths," U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Why it matters: Adams said the country is moving away from trying to contain the virus to a "mitigation phase," meaning it is now spreading within communities and that people who have no recent travel history are contacting it.

What he's saying:

"Now we're shifting into a mitigation phase, which means that we're helping communities understand, 'You're going to see more cases. Unfortunately, you're going to see more deaths.' But that doesn't mean that we should panic."
— Jerome Adams

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he's concerned about "community spread," which at a certain point makes it logistically difficult to do "contact tracing" and continue to isolate people with the virus.

  • He recommended that the elderly and people with underlying conditions "think twice about getting on a plane, on a long trip, and not only think twice, just don’t get on a cruise ship.” He said people should also start practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

The big picture: The District of Colombia and at least 31 states have reported at least one case of the virus. Washington, which has been hit the hardest, has reported more than 100 cases and at least 16 deaths from the virus.

Go deeper: What to expect next with the coronavirus

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Chicago's Cook County jail is the largest-known source of coronavirus infections in the U.S., the New York Times reports. The White House has identified Chicago's metro area as a risk for exponential growth of the virus.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

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Top CEOs, in private conversations and pleas to President Trump, are warning of economic catastrophe if America doesn't begin planning for a phased return to work as soon as May, corporate leaders tell Axios.

Why it matters: The CEOs say massive numbers of companies, big and small, could go under if business and government don't start urgent talks about ways groups of workers can return.

Australian police open criminal probe into Ruby Princess cruise ship

The Ruby Princess cruise ship docks at Port Kembla, Australia, on Monday. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

The coronavirus-hit Ruby Princess berthed in New South Wales, Australia, on Monday — hours after police in the southeast Australian state launched a criminal investigation into the cruise ship.

Why it matters: Per the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 600 people who were aboard the Ruby Princess and killed 11 others — accounting for 30% of all deaths from the virus in Australia.

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