Federal guidelines for social distancing will be extended through the end of April in an effort to decrease the spread of COVID-19, confirmed President Trump on Sunday.
To date, the United States has reported more than 143,000 cases and more than 2,500 deaths.
Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases has eclipsed 766,000.
“We had an aspiration of Easter, but when you hear these kind of numbers and you hear the potential travesty, we don’t want to do anything where – we don’t want to have a spike up,” said Trump, referring to earlier plans to reopen the country by Easter.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described Trump’s decision as “wise and prudent” and says he hopes social distancing will be enough to flatten the curve. If not, Fauci predicts the US will see 1 million cases and up to 200,000 deaths.
On Monday, officials in New York opened a temporary hospital at the Javits Center and welcomed a US Navy hospital ship, adding thousands of beds to the city’s beleaguered healthcare system.
The state has reported 66,000 cases, with the rate of infection doubling every six days. As of Monday, more than 9,500 residents were hospitalized.
“We believe that we’re dealing with this pandemic at a level, intensity, and density that no one has seen before,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “And hopefully we’ll learn lessons here that we can then share with people across this nation.”