The United States is now the top country with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, with 367,650 confirmed cases of which 10,943 patients have already died, and 19,810 people have successfully been treated and discharged.

Coronavirus Update: Here's Why Officials Want People to Avoid Grocery Stores If Possible
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Officials are encouraging people to avoid grocery stores as the country expects the coronavirus to peak this week and the next.

With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases each day, the country is now at a critical stage.

Avoid Going to the Grocery Often

According to BGR, the U.S. and public officials are now encouraging everyone to stop going out and even avoid going to the grocery store and pharmacies as much as possible, even though they are essential.

That is because the country is preparing for a sudden and significant increase in coronavirus cases, reaching the peak of the pandemic.

"The next two weeks are extraordinarily important," Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said in a press conference held last Saturday, Apr. 4.

"This is the moment not to be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe."

U.S. President Donald J. Trump affirmed, saying that this will likely be this period will be the toughest--between this week and the next--and warned the public that "unfortunately, there will be death."

Minimum Physical Contact

Besides the White House, Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for health, Brett Giroir, has made the same recommendation on NBC's Today and emphasized on encouraging everyone to have as minimum physical contact with other people and even surfaces.

According to several studies done by experts, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or the novel coronavirus as we know that brings COVID-19, can live on different surfaces for hours or days at most.

One study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the COVID-19 virus can remain in the air for three hours, while it has a more stable life in plastics and steel where it can stay active for up to three days.

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However, although White House and public officials are asking everyone to stay put inside their homes and avoid grocery stores, they are not closing down these essential establishments, nor are they completely banning grocery and pharmacy runs.

Instead, they encourage everyone to make fewer trips--and only if it is necessary.

Coronavirus officials suggest everyone spread out their trips to the grocery store or pharmacy and, instead, get what they need for a few days or a week.

Nevertheless, hoarding is discouraged.

Several places like Walmart have started taking extra precautionary measures, such as only allowing a maximum number of people within their premises at a time to encourage social distancing and avoid the spread of the virus to shoppers.

Shops have also started putting up signs for customers waiting in line to get in to avoid crowding.

Testing Suspected COVID-19 Patients

Additionally, Giroir also concedes that "testing is tight" as of the moment, but he guarantees that there are enough COVID-19 testing kits to handle the possible load they will see this week.

The assistant secretary also said that "we'll be in the tens of millions range in a very short time" with the use of different tests.

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