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Trump administration recommends gatherings of 10 or fewer to prevent COVID-19 spread

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 16:14:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Trump and his administration announced new guidelines for U.S. citizens to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump administration recommended a slew of social distancing efforts Monday that it encourages all U.S. citizens to follow to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The recommendations included home schooling, avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, not eating at bars and restaurants, and avoiding non-essential travel.

Later in the lengthy press conference, Trump, Fauci and Vice President Mike Pence stressed that these guidelines are in place for the nbext 15 days "to prevent the spread of the coronavirus," Pence said. "And we're calling on every American to do their part."

The Trump administration's task forces said millennials are the core group which can help stop the virus from spreading.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, urged U.S. residents to take COVID-19 more seriously than the common cold or even the flu.

President Trump said it could be July or August before things return to “normal."

As far as a national quarantine or curfew, President Trump said his team is looking at restrictions for certain areas, though not nationally.

Trump said he plans to bail out domestic airlines, which are taking a beating financially amid travel restrictions, but he didn't announce any details of that plan.

"It's not their fault," Trump said. "It's not the airlines' fault."

The administration continues to stress that everyone doesn't need to be tested for COVID-19, but it encourages those with symptoms to seek medical attention and self-quarantine.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Fauci said the first vaccine human trial is underway. He said 45 "normal individuals" between 18 to 55 years old have been injected Monday in a trial near Seattle.

The vaccine trial includes two injections and patients will be followed for a year to monitor for effectiveness and possible complications.

At 65 days, this is a faster a vaccine has gone to human trial, according to Fauci.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down nearly 3,000 points again Monday, but Trump tried not to overreact.

"The market will take care of itself," Trump said. "The market will be very strong as soon as we take care of the virus."

Trump's administration also revealed that the Department of Health and Human Services was targeted for attack by hackers, but that there was no data breach. It's unclear who was behind the attempted cyberattack.

Scripps National News contributed to this report.