How to Download the Coronavirus Guidelines for America and Check the CDC's Latest Advice and Updates on COVID-19

The White House has issued a downloadable set of guidelines, advising Americans how they can help slow down and control the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) over the next 15 days. The hope being that these non-compulsory measures will prevent the country's healthcare system being overwhelmed as the number of new cases continues to increase.

The guidelines, announced yesterday, include the government's aggressive social distancing tactic of limiting social gatherings to no more than 10 people and asks people to stay at home if they start to feel sick. It follows criticisms from Democrats and even some Republicans over the President's handling of the pandemic and the administration's failure to act quickly, as well as falling approval ratings for Donald Trump.

"If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation, and we will defeat the virus. And we're going to have a big celebration all together," Trump said in a press conference on Monday. "With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly."

As per the new guidelines, Americans are encouraged to stay at home and avoid work if they feel sick. Equally, parents and guardians are asked to keep children home and away from school if they start to show any symptoms. If one person in the house tests positive for COVID-19, the entire household is asked to stay home.

In each instance, people are advised to contact their medical provider. But as the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) cautions, patients who suspect they may have COVID-19 should call before seeking medical care to get the advice of a health professional. This will help prevent them from putting other people at unnecessary risk through exposure.

The document advises people who may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, either due to age or a severe underlying health problem—such as a condition affecting lung function or weakening the immune system—to take extra efforts to keep themselves safe by staying at home and avoiding other people where possible.

Other advice issued in the guidelines include:

  • Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
  • If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts—use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits.
  • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Practice good hygeine:
    • Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
    • Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

In addition to these new guidelines, the CDC is continually updating their website with the latest information and advice related to COVID-19 to help Americans stay on top of the pandemic—including instructions on how to keep themselves safe and what to do if sick.

A masked pedestrian in New York City
A man walks while wearing a protective face mask is seen as COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States on March 16, 2020 in New York City. The White House has issued a new set of guidelines, advising Americans how to help control the spread of the virus. Cindy Ord/Getty