CDC Says "DO NOT" Do These Things Right Now
As the more highly transmissible and deadly strain of COVID-19, the UK's B.1.1.7, continues to spread across the country, currently "the predominant strain of at least five regions of the United States," health experts are concerned that if action isn't taken, the fourth surge of the pandemic will continue to worsen. During the White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing on Wednesday, top health officials begged Americans to avoid doing a few things in order to slow the spread of the virus and variants. Read on to find out what the CDC says not to do—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.
First, the CDC Chief Warned of the COVID Variants
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pointed out that we're starting to see B.1.1.7 to "creep up," which is concerning. "We do know it's more transmissible—somewhere between 50 and 70% more transmissible than the wild type strain," she said.
She expects that cases will continue to surge. "So to the extent that people are not practicing the standard mitigation strategies, we do think that more infections will result because of B.1.1.7," she stated, adding that the current mitigation strategies, including masking and social distancing, are just as effective against the new strain as the original.
The CDC's Do's and Don'ts
"I think we've been pretty clear with regard to our guidance and, and strategies and setting specific strategies as to how people can remain safe in these settings," she continued. Walensky then went on to list the do's—masking and distancing—and the don'ts, which include traveling and congregating in crowds. During previous conferences she has expressed concern that recent photos of people enjoying spring break vacations will result in even more infection. Keep reading for more of what to not do.
"Don't Travel Unless It's Absolutely Essential"
Andy Slavitt, the White House Senior Advisor for COVID Response, seconded Walensky's advice. "Let me just reiterate," he said, "I think three times a week, for the last 10 weeks, Dr. Walensky has made the same points over and over and over again, because repetition is good and it's important. People want to know that they're getting consistent answers and consistently three times a week for 10 weeks, Dr. Walensky has said, wear a mask, avoid crowds, socially distance, and don't travel unless it's absolutely essential—three times a week for 10 weeks. We repeat that in all our conversations with governors. We repeat that in all our conversations with local officials, and we're not the only ones saying it—public health officials from departments and agencies across the country make the same point. So people who are in violation of that are choosing to do that. They are not confused about where we stand."
Get Vaccinated, Says Dr. Fauci, to Protect Yourself From More Transmissible Variants
With variants on the loose, Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed new research that showed the vaccines offer protection against them: "The bottom line message to everyone is why it's so important to get vaccinated because vaccination is not only going to protect us against the wild type, but it has the potential to a greater or lesser degree to also protect against a range of variants. So when vaccination becomes available, get vaccinated."
Do Your Part in Ending the Pandemic
So follow the public health 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.