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Dr. Fauci has 2 new things everyone needs to do to avoid a wintertime coronavirus catastrophe

Published Oct 19th, 2020 9:54AM EDT
Coronavirus Spread
Image: Kevin Dietsch - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • Coronavirus cases are surging in the US, with the country heading to a new peak after the scary records set in mid-July.
  • Dr. Fauci is advising people to implement two new precautions for avoiding the virus during the cold season, in addition to the five safety measures he’s been advocating all summer long.
  • Fauci says people should air their homes and wear a mask inside your house whenever someone visits.

The novel coronavirus is surging in most states, and the current data shows the country might soon hit a new peak. On Friday, nearly 70,000 cases were reported, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, with other sources reporting a slightly higher figure (over 71,500). Health experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci have stressed the importance of reducing the number of daily cases before the fall and winter arrive. That was during the previous spike in cases this past summer, when Fauci warned against the dangers of having COVID-19 overlap with the flu this winter. At the time, he said the country should be aiming to reach under 10,000 new cases per day. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.

Fauci has also been recommending the same five safety measures that anyone can use to reduce transmission risk. And now, he has two other precautions that everyone needs to make note of this winter.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director keeps telling anyone and everyone that five simple things can reduce the spread of the illness: universal face mask use, social distancing, avoiding gatherings, avoiding indoor places, and frequent hand washing. None of those measures can completely eliminate the risk of spread on their own, but the chances of infection are minuscule when all five are combined.

In recent interviews, Fauci warned that the cold season will push people indoors and that they should avoid crowded spaces, including gatherings at home. Even Thanksgiving is on the list, which Fauci warns against this year. Talking to CBS News a few days ago, Fauci explained the two other things people should consider with cold weather right around the corner.

The first one concerns ventilation. Fauci said that people should “try and keep windows open.” This simple measure can promote airflow in indoor settings and force those aerosols that linger in the air to disperse faster. The WHO and CDC both now acknowledge that COVID-19 is airborne. Fauci’s remark follows a similar recommendation from the German government, which is now officially instructing people to ventilate homes and public spaces, on top of observing the other health measures intended to help prevent the spread of covid.

The second thing Fauci said is also quite simple to implement, and it’s something people may have been doing intuitively at home already when in the presence of strangers. “Don’t be afraid to wear a mask in your house if you’re not certain that the persons in the house are negative,” Fauci said.

Studies have shown that most people get infected with COVID-19 at home. The home is where family members share the same air for the longest period of time, and face masks are rarely used. If one person is infected but not confirmed, he or she is likely to spread the disease to others in the household. Fauci’s advice addresses scenarios where other people might visit, but you should also wear a mask if you think someone in your household might have been exposed to the coronavirus.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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