Surgeon general: You're going to see more cases of coronavirus, 'doesn't mean we should panic'

Surgeon general: You're going to see more cases of coronavirus, 'doesn't mean we should panic'
© Charlie Archambault

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Sunday that Americans should not panic as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increases across the country. 

“We've been saying this all along. Initially, we had a posture of containment so that we could give people time to prepare for where we are right now,” Adams said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Now, we're shifting into a mitigation phase, which means we’re helping communities understand, you're going to see more cases. Unfortunately, you're going to see more deaths, but that doesn’t mean that we should panic.” 

Adams said individuals should do "the things that we know work for individuals to protect themselves," including washing their hands frequently, covering their coughs and staying home if they're sick. 

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He also said communities need to consider measures such as cancelling large gatherings and closing schools. He added the response may need to be different in for each community across the country. 

“But communities need to have that conversation and prepare for more cases so we can prevent more deaths,” he said. 

There are 437 confirmed cases across the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The epidemic has spread globally, with more than 107,000 cases confirmed worldwide. Mainland China, where the virus originated, has the most cases, with more than 80,000 confirmed.