NSC Says Text Messages About a Coronavirus National Quarantine Are Fake, There Is No National Lockdown

The White House has assured citizens that rumors being spread via text message claiming the government is due to implement a national quarantine in order to deal with the threat of the coronavirus are fake.

The National Security Council (NSC) issued a statement confirming that the texts suggesting that President Donald Trump will enforce a two-week period of national quarantine within the next 72 hours after evoking the Stafford Act are a hoax.

"There is no national lockdown," the NSC tweeted. "The Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] has and will continue to post the latest guidance on COVID-19."

The message, which claims to be from someone's "friend in the military," advises people to stock up on two weeks worth of supplies and to forward the text onto other people to warn them too.

It is unclear if there are any criminal investigations launched in connection to the hoax texts. The FBI has been contacted for comment.

Trump did invoke the Stafford Act on Friday, March 13, while declaring a national state of emergency over the coronavirus, but did not implement a national quarantine.

The 1998 act allows Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate the administration of disaster relief aid to state and local governments.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, has warned that Americans are "going to have to hunker down significantly more" than they are doing to better protect themselves against the virus. A 14-day national shutdown could still be on the cards.

"Everybody has got to get involved in distancing themselves socially," Fauci told NBC's Meet the Press.

"Right now, myself personally, I wouldn't go to a restaurant. I just wouldn't because I don't want to be in a crowded place...I don't want to be in a situation where I'm going to be all of a sudden self-isolating for 14 days," he added, referencing the maximum number of incubation days for those who have displayed possible symptoms of the coronavirus.

In its latest recommendations, the CDC said that all large or mass gatherings events with 50 people or more in attendance should be canceled for the next eight weeks to help stop the spread of the virus.

"Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual," the CDC said in a statement.

"This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus."

There have been more than 3,370 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., with 69 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 12 patients have managed to recover from the virus.

Motorists travel on Interstate 8 as a sign encourages hand washing on March 15, 2020 in San Diego, California. THe NSC said that rumors being spread via text messages that the government is due to implement a national quarantine are fake. Sean M. Haffey/Getty

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Hygiene advice:

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.