The CDC's director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease on Tuesday warned of an imminent coronavirus pandemic and said parents need to prepare for school closures and "significant disruption" in their lives.
Dr. Nancy Messonier also said schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups.
"It's not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more, but a question of when this will happen," Messonier told reporters in a conference
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday alerted Americans to begin to prepare for community spread of the new coronavirus after reports this week of new cases in several more countries.
The announcement signals a change in tone for the U.S. agency, which has largely been focused on efforts to stop the virus from entering the country and quarantining individuals traveling from China.