Dr. Fauci's 10 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus
Coronavirus cases have spiked across the U.S. this summer, with the country now reporting more than 40,000 new diagnoses a day. What's frustrating for health officials—including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a key member of the coronavirus response team—is that it's happening despite highly publicized guidelines on how to stop the spread. One place above all has contributed to this summer's virus spike and should be avoided at all costs, Fauci says. Find out what that is, and nine others, by clicking through.
Fauci has repeatedly warned that Americans should consider one place a no-go zone: Bars. "Bars: really not good, really not good. Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that," he said in a June 30 Senate hearing. Several states have rolled back reopening plans after coronavirus outbreaks linked to bars. At least 85 people contracted coronavirus after visiting an East Lansing, Michigan, bar this month. And In Louisiana, health officials have linked at least 100 coronavirus cases to a bar chain in Baton Rouge.
Schools (Without Proper Planning)
"As a general principle, we should try as best as possible to keep children in school," Fauci said on July 14. However, he emphasized that reopening plans should be customized and consider the severity of the pandemic in each local area. The priority should be "safety and welfare of the children, and the safety and welfare of teachers," when deciding whether each school district should resume in-person classes this fall, he said.
Airplanes and Public Transportation
"I'm 79 years old. I am not getting on a plane," Fauci told the Washington Post in an interview on July 3. "I have been on flights where I've been seated near people who were sneezing and coughing, and then three days later, I've got it. So, no chance. No Metro, no public transportation. I'm in a high risk group, and I don't want to play around."
Fauci has repeatedly warned that large gatherings should be avoided right now. "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."
In the Washington Post interview, Fauci revealed he wouldn't even think of dining in. "We don't do anything inside," he said. "I don't eat in restaurants. We do get takeout."
Parties at Home
In the Post interview, Fauci said he does entertain at home occasionally, but with strict precautions. "On the rare occasion when we have people over, we have them out on the deck, six feet apart, and we never have more than two people," he said. "We wear masks, unless we are eating. We don't share anything. There are no common bowls. Each person has his or her own receptacle. Some people even bring their own glasses. We always do takeout and I tell the takeout people that I want the food in four separate plastic containers, so no one has to touch anyone else's food. Everyone's food is self-contained. Also, we always stay outside. We don't do anything inside. If it's too hot, or rainy, we cancel it."
Early in the pandemic, guidelines urged people to avoid crowds of more than 10, including religious gatherings. "Crowds in church are important and every time I get a chance to say it, I mention it," Fauci told Science magazine back in March. "When you say less than 10, it makes common sense that it involves the church."
"I wouldn't go to a gym," Fauci told the Post. "I need to be so careful. I don't want to take a chance." Instead, he exercises with brisk walks outdoors.
A Cruise Ship
"If you're a person with an underlying condition and you are particularly an elderly person with an underlying condition, you need to think twice about getting on a plane, on a long trip," said Fauci in an interview on Meet the Press. "And not only think twice. Just don't get on a cruise ship."
Basically, anyplace indoors can facilitate the spread of the coronavirus, which spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets produced by sneezing and coughing—and even talking. But that doesn't mean you need to be a hermit. "You can get outdoors, you can interact — wear a mask, try to avoid the close congregation of people, wash your hands often. But don't just make it all or none," said Fauci. "We've got to be able to get people to get out and enjoy themselves within the safe guidelines that we have."
How to Avoid COVID-19
To stay healthy no matter where you live, wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have COVID-19, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.