Dr. Fauci Says Don't Go Here Labor Day Weekend
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Monday on a conference call with the nation's governors that Americans' behavior over Labor Day weekend will be crucial in determining whether the country can get a "running start" on stemming the coronavirus pandemic this fall. Read through for Fauci's eight most important pieces of advice, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Wear a Mask
"The message should be, 'Wear a mask, period,'" anytime you're in public, Fauci said on July 7. Studies have found it can reduce your risk of being infected with coronavirus anywhere from 50 to 80%.
Practice Social Distancing
Fauci has repeatedly said that when you're in public, it's important to avoid crowds and stay more than six feet away from people who aren't in your household. Coronavirus spreads primarily via respiratory droplets expelled from the mouth and nose, which can travel about six feet before dropping to the ground. Avoiding close contact with other people is essential to stopping the spread.
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Wash Your Hands
Fauci has advocated "absolute compulsive hand-washing" to slow the spread of coronavirus. On the PBS NewsHour, he said it was the absolute best way to avoid getting COVID-19. Do it frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Fauci has repeatedly advised us to avoid large gatherings. "Look at some of the film clips that you've seen of people congregating often without masks, of being in crowds and … not paying attention to the guidelines that we very carefully put out," he said. "We're going to continue to be in a lot of trouble, and there's going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop."
On July 3, Fauci told the Washington Post that he socializes at home these days, but with restrictions: Only outdoors, only with takeout food (so there's no sharing of plates or utensils), and he only invites two people over at a time so everyone can practice social distancing.
Outdoors Is Better Than Indoors
"I would get as much outdoors as you possibly can," said Fauci on Aug. 13. "I think it's incorrect to call people 'super spreaders'. The event is [the] super spread. They're almost always inside—in nursing homes, meat-packing, prisons, choirs in churches, congregations of weddings and other social events where people get together. It's almost invariable. When you are indoors, make sure you have a mask. When you're outdoors, keep the mask on."
Stay Out of Bars
"Bars: really not good, really not good," Fauci told a Senate committee hearing in June. "We really have got to stop that." His opinion hasn't changed. Fauci said that "congregating in bars, congregating in crowds, people getting together in a celebratory way without wearing masks" has driven this summer's surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
"If you want to pick three or four or five very simple tools that could have a major impact on turning around the outbreak, wearing a mask is definitely one of them, as is physical distancing, as is avoiding crowds, as is closing bars, as is washing your hands," said Fauci on July 27. "I'm pleading with people to consider doing this consistently because if half of people don't do it, it kind of negates the overall purpose."
Avoid Superspreader Events
Fauci said he had a "great deal of faith in the American people" to wash their hands, practice social distancing, wear masks, avoid large gatherings, and stay outdoors during the long-weekend celebrations. He said it was important to avoid the "superspreader" events that caused the disease to spike throughout the country after Memorial Day and July 4th.
As for yourself, stay safe by reading our special report: 13 Ways You're Catching Coronavirus Without Realizing It.