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US surgeon general on COVID-19: 'The most important thing right now to do is for people to stay at home'

In this March 22, 2020, file photo U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, in Washington. Chicago is among several large American cities identified as hot spots for COVID-19 infections and will see the number of local coronavirus cases rise, the U.S. surgeon general said Friday, March 27, 2020, on Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky, File. In this March 22, 2020, file photo U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, in Washington. Chicago is among several large American cities identified as hot spots for COVID-19 infections and will see the number of local coronavirus cases rise, the U.S. surgeon general said Friday, March 27, 2020, on "CBS This Morning." Adams warned that Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans "will have a worse week next week."

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: April 01, 2020 09:47 AM
Created: April 01, 2020 09:07 AM

U.S. surgeon general Jerome Adams is suggesting the best way to prevent the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic is for those in the United States to stay home and to ensure medical professionals have primary access to respirator masks, according to ABC News.

Adams told ABC News data from California, Washington state and elsewhere indicates it is possible to "flatten the curve," or the concept of slowing the spread of a virus so that few people need to seek medical treatment at any given time.

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Adams said the next month or so is "an opportunity for the entire country to really understand if we do the right things then we can flatten our curves in our own different areas and actually get to the other side."

He added, "If you are aggressive about mitigation, you can get through to the other side, and usually in about three weeks or so to hit your peak and then see cases come down."

According to Adams, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the World Health Organization, have learned more about how the virus spreads and stated "there is a fair amount of asymptomatic spread," meaning people can carry the virus without showing symptoms.

Because of this, Adams said "even if you do wear a mask it can't be at the expense of social distancing. We don't want people to think,'Hey, I'm going to wear a face covering so it's appropriate for me to go out around other people.' The most important thing right now to do is for people to stay at home."

On the subject of masks, Adams said "please understand you still don’t need an N-95 mask, and if you take one of those N-95 masks, you may be taking it out of the hands of a health care worker who desperately needs it to care for patients."

ABC News contributed to this report.

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