Cities nationwide are relaxing their coronavirus restrictions—opening movie theaters, allowing more indoor dining—but is it too soon? Especially with more transmissible variants on the loose? Experts like the head of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, believe so. “Things are tenuous,” she said. “Now is not the time to relax restrictions. We cannot get comfortable or give in to a false sense of security that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.” Read on to see what Dr. Fauci said about this, and what he called “dangerous”—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Says Withdrawing the Intensity of Public Health Measures is “Dangerous”
Cases are going down—or rather, they were, until a recent plateauing. “If you look at the decline of that slope, it was really sharp and very encouraging if you look at the rate as it goes down,” said Dr. Fauci on Face the Nation. “But over the last several days, it's kind of stopped at around 70,000 and lingered there for a day or two. That is concerning because the thing we don't want is to have it plateau at 70,000 per day. That's exactly the thing that happened during previous surges. As it peaked and started to come down, people withdrew some of the intensity of the public health measures and it kind of stabilized at a very high level. That's very dangerous, particularly given the fact that we have these variants around.” Keep reading for four more warnings from Fauci.
Dr. Fauci Says Don’t Pull Back Now
“If you look at the curve, it's coming down sharply, but the last several days, it's kind of plateaued at around 70,000 new infections per day,” he reiterated on CNN’s State of the Union. “Let's look at what history has taught us. If you go back and look at the various surges, whenever we hit the peak and start coming down, understandably, totally understandably say, ‘Well, let's pull back.’ We're going to ultimately be pulling back, but you want to get the level of baseline infections day very low.”
Dr. Fauci Warns of the New, More Transmissible COVID Variants
“If you look at that little plateau,” said Fauci, “particularly in the arena of having variants, such as we have in California and such as we have in New York, it is really risky to say, ‘It's over, we're on the way out. Let's pull back.’ Because what we can see is that we turn up, it isn't hypothetical data because just look historically at the late winter, early spring of 2020, of the summer of 2020, when we started to pull back prematurely, we saw the rebounds.”
Dr. Fauci Agrees with the CDC Chief—Now is Not the Time to Relax
“Things are tenuous. Now is not the time to relax restrictions,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. “We cannot get comfortable or give in to a false sense of security that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. I know people are tired. They want to get back to life as normal, but we're not there yet.” “Amen,” said Dr. Fauci on State of the Union when asked if he agreed.
Dr. Fauci Says Each City and State Should Look at Their Restrictions and Decide
“Or the easing of those,” restrictions, “Obviously each individual state and city needs to look at the situation in their own location where they are. But in general, to think just because the cases are coming down on the daily basis, take a look at the pattern and just watch over the next several days to a week. If we do this and start coming up, then we're going to go right back to the road of rebounding. So that's the reason why I agree completely with what Dr. Walensky has said,” he added on State of the Union.
How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic
“One,” says Fauci on Face the Nation, “continue to implement the public health measures that we talk about all the time, mask, distancing, avoiding congregate settings, but importantly, get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as you possibly can. That's why adding yet again another really good vaccine into the mix is really very important.”
So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.