SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, June 12, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) issued new suggestions for how Americans may resume normal activities safely even as new coronavirus cases rise. In a press briefing on Friday morning, the CDC stated that the U.S. has successfully “flattened the curve”, and on the whole has seen new cases plateau, but they also made clear that the pandemic is still not over and that they have observed a few worrying signs.

The CDC guidance says that Americans can venture outside of their homes, but in order to do so safely they should wear face coverings, maintain 6 feet apart, wash hands very often, and avoid touching public spaces. They did not advise people against gathering in large crowds, but they did note that the more people that are at an event and the longer that the event lasts, the greater the risk for transmission of the virus. “The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading. The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering,” states the official guidelines on the CDC’s website. The CDC encourages people to keep these factors in mind if they make plans to gather in crowds.

“I know people are eager to return to normal activities and ways of life. However, it’s important that we remember this situation is unprecedented and the pandemic has not ended,” said the CDC Director Robert Redfield during the public briefing.

The CDC has made it clear that although public places have implemented protective measures for the public, it is also up to the individual to be responsible for protecting themselves and their community. “Each of you have been active responders to this pandemic,” Redfield further stated.