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CDC Director Says Be Careful Going Here Because of COVID

Use caution before heading out.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has reason to be hopeful—COVID cases continue to go down. She also has reason to urge caution—there are still 64 million unvaccinated Americans who could get or spread COVID, just in time for the holidays. With gatherings in mind, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Walensky about the safety of sporting events, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Read on to discover how you can be safe in these spaces—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


CDC Chief Said This About Sporting Events

The horseshoe at Ohio State

"There's a lot of good sports on TV these days," said host Chris Wallace. "And if you watch sports, whether it's football games and stadiums or playoffs in baseball… you'll see hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people all packed together, not a mask in sight. I understand it's outdoors, but what does it tell you that there have not been spikes in most of these communities? When you have people in crowded into football or baseball stadiums?"

"We would still encourage people who are unvaccinated to wear a mask in those situations," said Dr. Walensky. "But given that these games are outdoors, that tends to be a much safer environment."


CDC Chief Said This About Halloween

woman handing out candy to trick or treaters in costume on halloween
Shutterstock /

"I would say put on those costumes, stay outside and enjoy your trick-or-treating," said Walensky about Halloween. "Whether people are vaccinated or not, as long as you're outside, you're, you're safe?" asked Wallace. "Yeah, I wouldn't gather in large settings, outside and do screaming, like you're seeing [at]  football games. If you're unvaccinated those kids that are unvaccinated, but if you're spread out doing your trick or treating that should be very safe for your children."

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CDC Chief Said This About Thanksgiving and Christmas

grandmother carrying turkey for family on thanksgiving dinner

"It's critically important that we gather, that we be together with our family and friends during these holidays," said Walensky. "And we have the prevention strategies that we know work to be safe for those holidays. So what I would say is get yourself vaccinated before you gather will absolutely be safer if you're vaccinated. Any activity that is outdoors is safer than it is if it's indoors. And if you're gathering multiple households, make sure as many people are vaccinated as possible. So you can protect, protect the people who are vulnerable, who might not yet be vaccinated our young children, our elderly, and then do all those prevention strategies that we know work, um, before you arrive. And as you arrive to make sure that everybody can be safe for the holidays and make sure that you're well, as you gather."

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CDC Chief Said This About the State of the Pandemic

Two doctors wearing personal personal protective equipment

"The numbers actually speak for themselves," said Walensky about the state of the pandemic today. "Cases are down, they're down more than 50% from where they were in September, but we can't get complacent yet. As we said, it's 75,000 cases a day, 1,500 deaths a day. The good news compared to where we were a year ago is that we have vaccines that work and that we have a lot of science that demonstrates how we can protect ourselves and how we can get cases down further. We know it's critically important to get people that donated all those 64 million people who have not yet been vaccinated. And then with scientific review, if we have a vaccine for our five to 11 year olds working to get them vaccinated. And in the meantime, practicing all the proper mitigation strategies so that we can get those case numbers and death numbers down." 

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Woman getting COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, 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, 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek