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New CDC guidance says older adults should ‘stay at home as much as possible’ due to coronavirus

10 test results pending for coronavirus in Virginia
10 test results pending for coronavirus in Virginia

CNN – Amid a coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging older people and people with severe chronic medical conditions to "stay at home as much as possible."

This advice is on a CDC website that was posted Thursday, according to a CDC spokeswoman.

Early data suggests older people are twice as likely to have serious illness from the novel coronavirus, according to the CDC.

A Trump administration official tells CNN that the US Department of Health and Human Services “is in the process of doing targeted outreach to the elderly community and those that have serious underlying health conditions.”

The CDC guidance comes as two top infectious disease experts with ties to the federal government have advised people over 60 and those with underlying health problems to strongly consider avoiding activities that involve large crowds.

Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC, said these two groups should consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.

People in these two groups "should strongly consider not doing these activities at this juncture," Schaffner said.

“This ought to be top of mind for people over 60, and those with underlying health problems, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, or compromised immune systems,” Schaffner added. “The single most important thing you can do to avoid the virus is reduce your face to face contact with people.”