Surgeon general tells Americans protective face cover is 'NOT effective' in ...

The surgeon general is pleading with the public to stop buying surgical masks as Americans use any means they can to prevent getting infected with the fast-spreading coronavirus.

'Seriously people - STOP Buying MASKS!' Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tweeted on Saturday.

'They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can't get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!'

Adams also tweeted: 'The best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness.

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is urging the public to avoid buying surgical face masks

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is urging the public to avoid buying surgical face masks

Travelers wear protective mask as they walk through in Terminal 5 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday

Travelers wear protective mask as they walk through in Terminal 5 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Sunday

'Seriously people - STOP Buying MASKS!' Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tweeted on Saturday

'Seriously people - STOP Buying MASKS!' Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tweeted on Saturday

Adams also tweeted: 'The best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness'

Adams also tweeted: 'The best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness'

'Get your #FluShot - fewer flu patients = more resources for #COVID19.'

Adams on Sunday also posted further clarifications about coronavirus on his Twitter feed so as to 'stop the spread of rumors.'

'Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity,' he tweeted.

'People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID19 than any other American.'

Adams sought to reassure nervous Americans, saying that while coronavirus is a 'serious disease,' the 'immediate health risk is considered low' for the general public.

The surgeon general added that anyone 'who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of spreading' coronavirus.

Adams urged the public to look out for symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

He added: 'There are simple steps YOU can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy.

'Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds.

'Avoid touching your [face] w/ unwashed hands, and wipe down surfaces with cleaning solution or wipes.'

He also urged those who are sick to stay home from work and to cover your cough and sneeze.

Two new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Chicago and Rhode Island on Sunday, bringing the total number of Americans known to be infected with the pathogen to 73.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed the latest infection in Chicago during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, saying that authorities are now working to trace the source of the latest instance. 

Adams on Sunday also posted further clarifications about coronavirus on his Twitter feed so as to 'stop the spread of rumors.'

Adams on Sunday also posted further clarifications about coronavirus on his Twitter feed so as to 'stop the spread of rumors.'

'Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity,' he tweeted.

'Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity,' he tweeted.

Adams sought to reassure nervous Americans, saying that while coronavirus is a 'serious disease,' the 'immediate health risk is considered low' for the general public

Adams sought to reassure nervous Americans, saying that while coronavirus is a 'serious disease,' the 'immediate health risk is considered low' for the general public

The surgeon general added that anyone 'who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of spreading' coronavirus

The surgeon general added that anyone 'who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of spreading' coronavirus

Adams urged the public to look out for symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath

Adams urged the public to look out for symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath

He added: 'There are simple steps YOU can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds'

He added: 'There are simple steps YOU can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds'

He also urged those who are sick to stay home from work and to cover your cough and sneeze

He also urged those who are sick to stay home from work and to cover your cough and sneeze

So far, there are at least five reported cases nationwide - one in Chicago, one in Washington State, one in Oregon, and two in California - where authorities do not know how the virus was contracted, according to the federal government. 

Also on Sunday, the Rhode Island Department of Health announced the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus.

The patient, a man in his 40s, had traveled to in mid-February, the state agency said. 

The coronavirus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state, a preliminary finding that could mean hundreds of undiagnosed cases in the state that's also home to the nation´s first confirmed infection and now the first death, researchers said Sunday after analyzing genetic samples of the pathogens.

State and local authorities stepped up testing for the illness Sunday as the number of new cases grew nationwide, with new infections announced in Illinois, Rhode Island and Washington state. 

Authorities in the Seattle area said two more people had been diagnosed with the coronavirus, both men in their 60s who were in critical condition. 

Those cases brought the numbers in the Seattle area to six. 

Fifty more people in a nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington, are sick and being tested for the virus.

Worried Americans swarmed stores to stock up on basic goods such as bottled water, canned foods and toilet paper. 

As the fallout continued, Vice President Mike Pence and Azar sought to reassure the American public that the federal government is working to make sure state and local authorities are able to test for coronavirus. 

Both said during a round of TV talk show appearances Sunday that thousands more kits to test for coronavirus had been distributed to state and local officials, with thousands more to come.

The coronavirus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state, a preliminary finding that could mean hundreds of undiagnosed cases in the state that's also home to the nation´s first confirmed infection and now the first death. Seattle is seen above

The coronavirus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state, a preliminary finding that could mean hundreds of undiagnosed cases in the state that's also home to the nation´s first confirmed infection and now the first death. Seattle is seen above 

A 'medically high-risk' male in his 50s died of coronavirus overnight Friday in Kirkland hospital EvergreenHealth

A 'medically high-risk' male in his 50s died of coronavirus overnight Friday in Kirkland hospital EvergreenHealth

'They should know we have the best public health system in the world looking out for them,' Azar said, adding that additional cases will be reported and the overall risk to Americans is low.

As Americans prepared, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington on Sunday said they had evidence that the coronavirus may have been circulating in the state for up to six weeks undetected - a finding that, if true, could mean hundreds of undiagnosed cases in the area. 

The research was not published in a scientific journal or reviewed by other scientists.

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Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at

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