- Despite the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines and a drop in the coronavirus infection rate, it’s still important to follow coronavirus safety guidelines.
- For the time being, Dr. Fauci still wants people to avoid indoor gatherings, restaurants, gyms, and bars.
- Starting today, passengers flying into the U.S. will need proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight.
In the wake of the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays, the coronavirus infection rate began to surge at an unprecedented rate in late December. For a stretch of a few days in early January, the U.S. was seeing more than 220,000 new COVID-19 cases every 24 hours. Alongside that, the COVID-19 death rate also started to surge and many hospital ICUs were operating at near or full capacity.
With February creeping up around the corner, the good news is that things have finally started to shift in the other direction. Over the past two weeks, the COVID infection rate across the country dropped by 33% and some states, as a result, recently decided to relax COVID restrictions with respect to indoor dining and other activities.
A decline in COVID cases, however, shouldn’t be viewed as a reason for anyone to let their guard down. Especially with new COVID strains making their way across the U.S., adhering to coronavirus safety guidelines is as crucial today as ever.
In light of the above, Dr. Fauci still wants people to avoid going to certain places regardless of whatever new guidelines a state has implemented. The underlying fear — and we’ve seen it play out in several states over the past few months — is that a decline in COVID-19 infections prompts a loosening of COVID restrictions which, in turn, eventually creates yet another surge of infections.
It’s a vicious cycle that Dr. Fauci maintains can be avoided if people simply stop going to some of the places listed below:
At the top of the list, of course, is indoor gatherings. Because the coronavirus can spread more readily in confined spaces with poor ventilation, it’s no surprise that indoor gatherings have been found to be behind innumerable superspreader events and COVID-19 outbreaks. Not too long ago, contact tracing apps in New York City revealed that nearly 75% of all new COVID-19 infections could be traced back to indoor gatherings.
Fauci also encourages people to steer clear of gyms. Despite safety measures enacted by many national gym chains, working out in a public place can still be a risky activity. To this point, a CDC report from a few months back found that 7.8% of positive COVID-19 patients reported going to a gym during the two weeks preceding their diagnosis. Gyms are inherently risky because people breathe more heavily while exercising and gym equipment is typically shared by dozens of gym-goers every single hour.
Fauci also wants people to avoid going to bars and restaurants.
“We say it, not being facetiously or having a soundbite or anything, but you know: close the bars, keep the schools open, is what we really say,” Fauci said late last year.
Lastly, Fauci is urging people to avoid travel, whether it be by train, bus, or plane. If you need to visit someone for whatever reason, the safest thing to do is to travel by car and avoid places like airports and bus terminals that can often be a breeding ground for COVID transmission.