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Dr. Fauci Says Where You're Most Likely to Catch COVID

“Transmissions are seen in household contacts, in congregate,” Fauci said.
Shocked young woman looking at laptop computer screen at home

Coronavirus cases shattered a new record on Thursday, increasing at a rate of one per second, and Dr. Anthony Fauci is alarmed. The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spoke at the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute's In Focus virtual event on Thursday, and identified exactly where you might catch COVID-19. Knowing where it lurks can help you save your life, and someone else's. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

How Did Dr. Fauci Say You're Most Likely to Contract COVID-19?

Dr. Fauci identified where COVID spreads—use it as your map of where not to go. "Transmissions are seen in household contacts, in congregate, or even in healthcare settings where there is not available PPE or the PPE is not properly used," Fauci said. PPE is, of course, personal protective equipment, like a face mask or goggles. "We also see outbreaks in closed settings, crew ships, nursing homes, and prisons. And factors that may increase the risk of airborne transmission are crowded and close spaces, particularly in those where there is poor ventilation indoors. This becomes particularly problematic as we enter the cooler seasons of the fall and the coldest seasons of winter. It's important to point out that you do not need to sneeze or cough to transmit. It is transmitted by singing, speaking loudly, or even by breathing heavily."

The Shift Indoors This Winter Will Mean More Spread

He's not the only one worried. "I'm a little concerned we're going to see that shift to the northern latitudes as the weather gets cold," Linsey Marr of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, who studies how viruses move through the air, told the New York Times, and the paper went on: "In poorly ventilated indoor settings, like most restaurants and bars, the virus can remain suspended in the air for long periods and travel distances beyond six feet, Dr. Marr and other researchers said. Southern states, for example, saw a spike in infections when the temperatures soared this summer, prompting people to remain inside with the air-conditioners humming."

That A to B, cause and effect is already happening, with states seeing rises in cases and hospitalizations. Fall is here and winter is coming. "I would get as much outdoors as you possibly can," Fauci has said before. "If you look at the super spreader events that have occurred, I think it's incorrect to call people super spreaders. The event is super spread. They're almost always inside super spreader events—in nursing homes, meat-packing, prisons, choirs in churches, congregations of weddings and other social events where people get together. It's almost invariable. Nothing's 100%, but it's almost invariable that it's indoors. So when you are indoors, make sure you have a mask when you're outdoors, keep the mask on."

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The Virus Can Spread When You Open Your Mouth and Expel Droplets

As for the virus being transmitted through speaking or song, this has been known for some time; the virus spreads through aerosols, tiny droplets. The CDC underscored this point in May, when it did a study of a choir practice. "Following a 2.5-hour choir practice attended by 61 persons, including a symptomatic index patient, 32 confirmed and 20 probable secondary COVID-19 cases occurred (attack rate = 53.3% to 86.7%); three patients were hospitalized, and two died. Transmission was likely facilitated by close proximity (within 6 feet) during practice and augmented by the act of singing," said the report. "The potential for superspreader events underscores the importance of physical distancing, including avoiding gathering in large groups, to control spread of COVID-19. Enhancing community awareness can encourage symptomatic persons and contacts of ill persons to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent ongoing transmission."

RELATED: This is the #1 Way You'll Get COVID, According to Doctors

How to Avoid COVID-19

Follow the fundamentals to avoid COVID-19. "Please wear your mask when you go outside, keep that six foot distance, avoid those indoor gatherings, wash your hands,"  National Institute of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins advises. "All of those simple things are going to be necessary for months to come. And we should just roll up our collective sleeves of energy here and make sure that happens." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID