With the coronavirus running rampant within American communities, health officials have made clear it’s not yet time to ease up on precautions.
Instead, governors and experts from coast to coast have urged Americans to keep face masks in indoor public spaces, maintain their distance from others and avoid crowded spaces.
That’s as infections nationwide have climbed past 4.3 million and at least 149,258 have lost their lives — and some experts say the coming months could mean thousands of more deaths.
During a stop in Kentucky over the weekend, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx urged states who are seeing a concerning increase in cases to downsize their gatherings to less than 10 people, adding many of the young people who are spreading the virus are asymptomatic.
Despite the grim numbers and stern warnings, some Americans have chosen to return to pre-pandemic habits, ditching guidelines and attending parties.
700 party together in New Jersey
In Jackson, New Jersey, it took police more than five hours Sunday to break up a house party with about 700 guests. The home was being rented out through Airbnb, police said.
“Come on folks! Come on,” Gov. Phil Murphy, said during a news conference Monday. “That’s needlessly putting men and women in uniform and their families at risk.”
New Jersey governor condemns house party at a packed Airbnb with over 700 guests
His executive order limits indoor gatherings to 100 people and outdoor gatherings to 500.
Health officials say they’re worried the event will lead to more coronavirus cases.
“It’s still too early to determine what to expect but in the meantime it’s crucial to remind residents – especially our young adults – that neglecting to adhere to the mandated safety measures can have serious repercussions on a community,” Brian Lippai, spokesman for the Ocean County Health Department, told CNN.
“We’ve come a long way in the last several weeks and incidents like this can lead to serious setbacks in our efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.”