- The latest coronavirus update for the US from Johns Hopkins University shows that, as of Monday afternoon, more than 27 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US.
- Because of the COVID-19 variant strains that are fueling an increase in those cases, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has been sharing a few updated COVID-19 safety tips that people should follow.
- They include: Wear two face masks, don’t travel just because you’ve been vaccinated, and only eat indoors at restaurants if you can adequately space out from other patrons.
President Biden’s interview on Sunday that ran before the Super Bowl and represented his first network news sit-down since becoming president made headlines on a number of fronts, especially via the latest coronavirus update he shared during the conversation.
Among other talking points he noted, Biden said that in spite of his goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations completed during the first 100 days of his administration — which the administration is currently on track to achieve — the US shouldn’t expect to have achieved herd immunity against the coronavirus before the end of summer. This is why Biden is reportedly planning to take up the NFL’s offer to use its stadiums as vaccination sites, part of the ongoing effort to both speed up and to expand the cadence of COVID vaccinations, which White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has said would need to be given to at least 75% of the public before we’ll have reached herd immunity against the virus. And speaking of Dr. Fauci, he’s also updated some of his most basic coronavirus-related safety precautions — tips, in other words, that he says people should follow and double down on in order to stop the continued spread of COVID-19.
Those tips include three precautions that we’ll mention in this post, two of which Dr. Fauci has updated his wording on over the past several months. Let’s start with the big one — masks.
Two masks are better than one. The latest stats from Johns Hopkins University show that there have now been more than 27 million coronavirus infections identified in the US since the pandemic began, along with more than 463,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
Driving those numbers now, in a way that’s especially worrying to public health experts like Dr. Fauci, are the more transmissible coronavirus variant strains from places like the UK. In fact, the CDC is already predicting that the UK COVID strain could become dominant in the US as soon as March, and Dr. Fauci says this particular strain leads to worse infections. This is precisely why he’s been encouraging people to wear two coronavirus face masks, instead of one, when they’re around other people. The thinking being that a second face mask would add even more of a protective barrier against COVID-19 particles. But this, of course, is not the only behavior that Dr. Fauci is reiterating at the moment.
Hold off on travel. Don’t immediately book your next vacation just because you’ve been vaccinated. “Getting vaccinated does not mean now you have a free pass to travel, nor does it say you have a free pass to put aside all the public health measures that we talk about all of the time,” Dr. Fauci said during a January 27 CNN town hall with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and host Anderson Cooper. Speaking of vaccines, Bloomberg’s COVID vaccine tracker shows that about 42 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the US since the vaccination campaign began in mid-December. That’s according to the latest data from a state-by-state tally, which also shows that the US is administering around 1.46 million COVID vaccine doses per day, on average.
Stay away from crowds when you eat indoors. Time was, Dr. Fauci was pretty unbending in his condemnation of the act of sitting down to eat inside a restaurant during the pandemic. This is why he said in an interview back in November that he and his wife order takeout from local restaurants as much as possible, to support the restaurants without having to patronize them inside. “If you go indoors in a restaurant — whatever capacity, 25(%), 50%, or what have you — indoors absolutely increases the risk,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in September.
Now, he’s a bit less strident, not as vociferous about insisting to people that they avoid indoors completely. “If you do indoor dining, you do it in a spaced way where you don’t have people sitting right next to each other,” Dr. Fauci said during a February 2 interview with CNN. Just because a place of business like a restaurant is open right now, though, doesn’t mean it’s advisable for you to visit it. That seems to be the nuanced point Dr. Fauci is making about restaurants. Indeed, along these same lines, this new ProPublica report is definitely worth a read (“Why Opening Restaurants Is Exactly What the Coronavirus Wants Us to Do”).