(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – President Donald Trump is extending the voluntary national shutdown for a month as sickness and death from the coronavirus pandemic rise in the U.S.
The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government expires Monday. Instead, President Trump decided to extend the stay-in-place order through April 30.
Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.
Trump’s impulse to restore normalcy met a sober reality check Sunday from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, who said the U.S. could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the pandemic. Trump’s decision to extend the guidelines reflected a recognition of the struggles that will take place over the long haul.
The federal guidelines recommend against large group gatherings and urge older people and anyone with existing health problems to stay home. People are urged to work at home when possible and avoid non-essential travel, and shopping trips.
The U.S. had more than 137,000 COVID-19 cases reported by late Sunday afternoon, with more than 2,400 deaths.