“I want America to understand — this week, it’s going to get bad,” US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told NBC’s “Today” show Monday.
“We really, really need everyone to stay at home. I think that there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but … we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them.”
The deployment comes as more than 100 million people in at least eight states face orders from their governors to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.
President Donald Trump said the federal government was deploying National Guard units to the three hardest-hit states “to carry out approved missions” and to serve as a “backup” to state leaders. Governors will remain in command of those troops, Trump said.
The orders encourage social distancing measures but make exceptions for people to leave their homes for things like buying food, picking up medicine and going to work for essential jobs. Some encourage being outside and active — as long as it isn’t done in groups.
Breaking the order could result in a fine in New York and Connecticut.
“These are not helpful hints. … There will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business that is not in compliance” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
‘All in on the medical supply front’
The orders are intended, in part, to reduce stress on the health care system.
High demand for medical equipment has forced states to compete with one another as they struggle to get what they need to treat their patients, Cuomo said Sunday.
“In some ways, we’re savaging other states. I’m trying to buy masks. I’m competing with California and Illinois and Florida,” he said.
The bill would require the President to ensure the production of at least 500 million N95 respirators, 200,000 ventilators, 20 million face shields, 500 million pairs of medical gloves and 20 million surgical gowns.
“Anything that can provide relief to the frontline troops, do it. I would go all in right now. All in,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and one of Trump’s close allies, said. “Be all in on the medical supply front.”
On Sunday, Trump approved a disaster declaration for California that will bring supplies, medical stations and naval hospital ships to the state. Similar declarations were previously issued for New York and Washington state.
More testing through constraints
The number of US coronavirus cases has surged as tests have become easier to access.
About 254,000 Americans have been tested, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Sunday. That total does not include local hospitals or local health care labs, he said.
Despite the constraints, coronavirus testing resources are being set up across the country.
The city of Los Angeles is implementing a new web portal that would direct those who might be in the highest risk criteria to a testing center. In Chicago, two Walmart center parking lots are being designated as drive-through testing sites.
And a new drive-up testing facility in Miami will give health care workers and first responders priority testing, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
Outbreaks among the vulnerable in nursing homes
Seven nursing homes across Arkansas have reported cases, with 41 linked to Briarwood Nursing Home in Little Rock, according to Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith. Residents accounted for 35 cases and staff members for six, Smith said Sunday.
At the assisted living facility Atria Willow Wood in Broward County, Florida, the virus has resulted in three deaths and seven additional positive cases with the results pending for five other residents, a statement from Senior Vice President of Care Mike Gentry said.
DeSantis said the facility did not take precautions against the virus, allowing staff who hadn’t been screened for symptoms to freely enter the building. But Atria said the governor’s comments do not accurately reflect its practices.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the number of people facing stay-at-home orders across the US.
CNN’s Jacqueline Howard, Holly Yan, Faith Karimi, Dakin Andone, Hollie Silverman, Phil Mattingly and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.