The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Sunday that organizers should cancel large events of more than 50 people that are scheduled in the next eight weeks.
Among the events the CDC recommends be canceled are "conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings" and other similar group events.
"Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations , hand hygiene, and social distancing ," the CDC's statement reads. "When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual."
The CDC added that its advisory does not apply to places of business and schools.
While most American professional sports leagues had already suspended play for the time being, the CDC's recommendations will likely further delay play. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA executives believed a "best-case" scenario for resuming the season was "mid-to-late June."
Major League Baseball had hoped to begin its season April 9, but will likely need to further delay the start of its season due to the CDC's newest recommendations.
The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 23, and falls within the eight-week CDC window. As of Sunday evening, the league still plans to hold the draft in Las Vegas.
Read the CDC's statement in full below.
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations , hand hygiene, and social distancing . When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses . This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.