March 23 (UPI) -- The governors of at least seven states have issued orders preventing residents from leaving home unless necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as President Donald Trump suggested an easing to federal guidelines to lessen the shutdown's impact on the economy.
Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia on Monday joined a growing list of states that have ordered their non-essential businesses to close and their residents to stay home amid the COVID-19 outbreak that has killed nearly 600 Americans and infected more than 46,000 since the first patient was identified in the country on Jan. 21.
The orders will be in place for a minimum of two weeks with Hawaii's lasting the longest from Wednesday to April 30.
"The threat of COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires aggressive action," Hawaiian Gov. David Ige said in a press release.
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Ohio have previously announced stay-at-home orders with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers saying he plans to make the declaration for his state on Tuesday.
The orders follow Trump issuing guidelines, including limiting non-essential gatherings to fewer than 10 people, on March 16.
Trump said the social distancing guidelines would be in place for 15 days, but on Sunday he tweeted that "we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself" and that when the deadline is up "we will make a decision as to which way we want to go."
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
On Monday, when asked about this comment during a coronavirus press briefing, Trump said the country will be reopened "very soon."
"I'm not looking at months, I can tell you that right now," he said, adding, "you can't keep it closed for years."
"This is going away," he said. "We're going to win the battle but you have tremendous responsibility. You have jobs. People have anxiety and depression. You have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies."
"I want America to understand this week, it's going to get bad," he said, adding, "Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. Test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else.
"Stay at home," he said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a noted Trump ally, agreed with the president that the United States was fighting "a two-front war" with the virus on one side and floating the economy on the other but that he hoped the guidelines would not be cut.
"President Trump's best decision was stopping travel from China early on," Graham said via Twitter. "I hope we will not undercut that decision by suggesting we back off aggressive containment policies within the United States."