Top Health Official Says Americans May Need to Stay Home For 'At Least Several Weeks'

As the novel coronavirus continues to infect people across the nation, a top health official on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force warns that Americans could be home for “at least several weeks.”

On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke with Savannah Guthrie on Today where he shared his thoughts on the timeline of the pandemic and how it will continue to affect Americans stuck at home.

“If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks and other areas, it’s at least going to be several weeks,” he said.

As of Friday, there have been 15,650 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 202 deaths in the United States, according to a New York Times database.

“I cannot see that all of a sudden, next week or two weeks from now it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that,” Fauci added. “I think it’s going to be several weeks.”

The health official also explained that in order to “stay ahead of the curve,” it’s time that the U.S. to “do everything we can possibly do.”

“I mean, in all sectors, because obviously as I’ve said so many times, when you think you’re maybe overreacting, you probably are not acting as forcefully as you should,” he said.

The U.S. is now looking at Italy as a warning of what could happen if people do not stay inside and practice social distancing.

In response to the climbing number of cases in the U.S., public schools have closed in some form in every state, American workers who can are teleworking and many cities and states have closed bars and restaurants to reduce human contact and further spread.

To prevent the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages maintaining basic forms of hygiene including careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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