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U.S. officials reiterate COVID-19 safety advice, warn of more restrictions if cases spike

(Reuters) - U.S. health officials said on Friday that Americans should continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and other COVID-19 safety measures as some states have begun to ease restrictions on movement.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that states may need to reimpose strict restrictions if COVID-19 cases spike.

“If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it is important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” said Jay Butler, the deputy director of infectious diseases at the CDC.

He said the public should continue to maintain six feet of social distance, wash hands regularly and wear protective facial coverings to reduce the risk of infection.

As the United States reopens its economy, a number of U.S. states including Texas, Arizona and Florida have relaxed social distancing guidelines in recent weeks.

Reporting by Carl O’Donnell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama