LATEST: White House says people should avoid gatherings larger than 10 people

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on coronavirus in the Brady press briefing room...
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on coronavirus in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Washington. Listening from left are Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 9:45 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The White House on Monday urged all older Americans to stay home and everyone to avoid crowds and eating out at restaurants as part of sweeping guidelines meant to combat an expected surge of coronavirus cases.

President Donald Trump and the coronavirus task force released the guidelines as the U.S. government moved to try to blunt the impact of the virus.

Among new guidelines: Over the next 15 days, Americans should not gather in groups of more than 10 people, schooling should be at home and discretionary travel and social visits should be avoided.

If anyone in a household tests positive for the virus, everyone who lives there should stay home.

Also at a news conference Monday, Trump said the US economy “may be” heading toward recession amid the pandemic and called the virus an “invisible enemy.”

[Stay updated: Sign up for HNN’s coronavirus newsletter]

Here’s more of the latest coronavirus news:

A top World Health Organization outbreak expert says evidence shows that children can be infected with the new coronavirus but tend to have “mild infection."

He also said officials are “not seeing transmission in settings like schools.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for WHO’s emergencies program, cautioned Monday that “we have seen children die from this infection, so we can’t say universally it’s mild in children.”

“From the evidence that we are seeing, we’re not seeing transmission in settings like schools, where we would worry about amplification of transmission,” she told a news conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva.

The U.S. Defense Department is planning to halt all domestic travel for military members after President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency.

The Pentagon says Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist has approved new travel restrictions on service members and Defense Department civilians assigned to military installations and surrounding areas within the United States and its territories.

The new guidance takes effect Monday and lasts through May 11. The Pentagon says it will “halt all domestic travel, including Permanent Change of Station and Temporary Duty.”

Service members will be authorized local leave only, although the Pentagon says exemptions may be granted “for compelling cases.”

The Defense Department has also suspended “unofficial visits” to the Pentagon and other facilities in the Washington area.

The city says there are no changes planned to TheBus or Handi-Van service amid the coronavirus outbreak.

That said, officials said the situation is dynamic and that contingency plans are being developed.

“We will make significant efforts to keep our passengers and the media informed before making any large-scale changes to our daily operations,” the city said.

President Donald Trump is tweeting that four major cruise ship companies have agreed to suspend trips from the U.S. for 30 days, effective at midnight.

Trump says that Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and MSC Cruises all agreed to the suspensions.

The U.S. State Department advised Sunday against any travel on cruise ships, particularly for those with underlying health conditions.

All correctional facilities have suspended personal visits for state inmates.

Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda said the action is being taken to protect inmates and their families from the coronavirus.

Although the virus is not suspected at any of its prisons, Public Safety officials are taking action out of an abundance of caution.

"The health and safety of the public, our staff and the inmates they oversee is of paramount importance to us, and we are taking steps to protect them,” Espinda said, in a statement.

Official and attorney visits are still allowed.

Want to catch the most recent updates on the coronavirus outbreak?

Remember to download the Hawaii News Now apps for Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire, where you can watch our daily 3 p.m. studio update with Ashley Nagaoka.

We’ll bring you the day’s latest news on the worldwide outbreak and how local officials are working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak here in Hawaii.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.