The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Monday the first employee of the U.S. agency has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The CDC said the employee was not involved in the agency’s COVID-19 response efforts and has not been present in the CDC workplace since March 6. The patient is in good condition and is isolated to prevent the spread of the infection to others.
“CDC is considering and taking all necessary actions to further protect the health and safety of our workforce,” the agency said in a statement. “Our best wishes go to the employee for a rapid and full recovery.”
The CDC also issued guidance halting nationwide gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, citing the risk of the coronavirus, but within hours the White House reduced the number to 10.
President Donald Trump advised the nation at a Monday press conference to lock down now with ’15 days to stop the spread,’ saying the elderly must stay home, gatherings of over 10 people must be cancelled and schools, offices, bars and restaurants should close.
The new guidance will significantly increase the pandemic’s disruption to U.S. public life for the next two months.