US President Donald Trump said the national emergency for coronavirus could continue until the end of the summer, or even longer.
He said Americans would not meet in groups of more than 10 people over the next 15 days and avoid bars, pubs, food courts and crowds.
Mr. Trump said the nation is facing “an unseen threat” which is “so infectious” at the White House.
So far, the US has had 4,100 virus outbreaks and 71 fatalities.
According to a report by Johns Hopkins University, there were more than 174,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide and more than 6,700 deaths.
Asked how long the emergency will last, Mr. Trump said Monday to reporters: “People are thinking about July, August, anything like that, so it could be right at that time when I say it’s washing through.”
He continued: “I think August may be July, maybe longer than that.” He said he wasn’t contemplating a nationwide curfew or lockout while adding: “We could look at certain places, certain hot spots as I call them.” Mr. Trump said he hadn’t yet decided to close the U.S.-Canada border, but told reporters it was something the administration was contemplating.
The president also discussed research problems, as the US was blamed for being far behind smaller countries when it came to research the states.
Officials on Monday said there are already a million tests open, and more will be coming this week.
“There’s been a lot of research going on,” said Mr. Trump, but he also noted that those without symptoms shouldn’t get the check.
“Not everyone can go out to get the check, but we can accommodate enormous numbers.” Health officials have said they were able to add 30 million masks to the U.S. supply and sent out equipment and health staff to help local testing efforts.
Asked how he would rank the response of his administration to the epidemic on a scale of one to 10, Mr. Trump said: “I would give it a 10. I think we have done a fantastic job.” White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, who joined the president, released an appeal directly to millennials, urging them to restrict social interaction.
“They are the people at the core who will stop this virus,” she said. “We just want to divide men.” Dr. Birx also cautioned against socializing even though people feel good.
“We know there’s a big number of infected people asymptomatic, who keep spreading the virus,” she said.
Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the task force on coronavirus, told reporters he had not yet been screened.
“I am in daily contact with the physician of the White House and he said that I have not been exposed to anyone for any period of time who has had the coronavirus and that my wife and I have had no symptoms,” said Mr. Pence.