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Coronavirus Guidelines: No Gatherings of 10+ People Prompts Beach Shutdown in NC; Drive-Thru Testing on the Rise

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia (Photo: CBN News)
Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia (Photo: CBN News)

Americans are hunkering down as the nation battles what President Trump is calling an "invisible enemy." The president acknowledged the impact on the economy is serious, saying the US "may be" heading for a recession, but he urged people to stay calm.

In the daily briefing about the COVID-19 coronavirus, health officials issued new guidelines. 

The Outer Banks in North Carolina announced Tuesday that a restriction on tourists and visitors has been put in place to reduce spreading of the coronavirus. 

"In response to updated guidelines from the CDC to avoid discretionary travel and follow The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, the Dare County Control Group has made the decision to restrict visitor access to Dare County beginning today, Tuesday, March 17."

The president said gatherings should now be limited to 10 people for the next eight weeks out of an abundance of caution.

"We've made the decision to toughen the guidelines and blunt the infection now recommending all Americans work to engage in schooling from home, gathering in groups of no more than 10, avoid travel and eating and drinking in restaurants and public food courts," he said.

"If everyone makes these changes now we will defeat and have a big celebration altogether," he said, pointing out that a new vaccine clinical trial has just begun as scientists race to develop antiviral therapies.

And at the White House there are new measures to protect the president and his staff, including taking the temperature of anyone who enters the complex.

Drive-Through Testing

Meanwhile, drive-thru testing for COVID-19 took place at hospitals across America Monday. 

Paul Gaden with Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is encouraging people to remain calm.  

He says America's hospitals are prepared to take care of those at high risk, like the elderly and those whose immune systems are compromised.

Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

"Albeit, there is not a treatment for COVID-19, it is other culpabilities that actually are what become dangerous for those patients. For those that are younger, that contract COVID-19, they're gonna be fine and they'll be able to manage and be able to get on the mend after 14 to 16 days."

Gaden says the virus is more contagious so testing like this is important.

Patients go through a verbal triage first. They're asked if they have symptoms like shortness of breath, cough and a fever above 100.4, or have traveled internationally or here in the US where there are outbreaks.

"They will be tested... and should self-quarantine," he said.

Supreme Court Shuts Down

Even parts of the government are shutting down. 

The US Supreme Court announced Monday it will postpone arguments for late March and April because of the coronavirus.

Six of the nine justices are 65 and older, making them high risk.

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