The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government was set to expire on Monday.
But “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won. That would be the greatest loss of all,” Trump said during a briefing outside the White House.
The US has more than 130,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 2,300 deaths — and the death toll is expected to peak in two weeks, Trump said.
Trump had previously aimed to reopen the country on Easter, April 12, but said Sunday that was “just an aspiration.”
The mitigation methods aim to decrease the number of infections and deaths, and the more people adhere to them, “the faster this nightmare will end,” Trump said.
“I want the American people to know that your selfless, inspiring and valiant efforts are saving countless lives. You are making the difference,” he said.