- Fauci says that even if you are fully vaccinated, indoor meals and theater visits should be prohibited.
- The number of coronavirus cases in the United States remains high.
- As more people get vaccinated and cases decline, it can be safe to go back to doing things indoors with crowds.
- Visit the Insider Business section for more stories.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but you probably still won’t find him dining at any restaurant or watching a movie in theaters.
“There are things, even if you are vaccinated, that you will not be able to do in society,” Fauci said Monday during a press conference on COVID-19 at the White House. “For example, indoor dinners, theaters, places where people gather. That is due to the safety of society.”
Fauci’s comments came on the same day that the United States passed the grim milestone of 500,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. He stressed that while getting vaccinated dramatically increases your “own personal safety,” it’s not a free pass to go out and party like it’s 2019, at least not yet.
“Because the burden of viruses in society will be very high, which is now,” he said.
Vaccines do not necessarily prevent the spread of COVID-19
Although the number of new coronavirus cases in the US has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, the virus is still spreading, with nearly 450,000 COVID-19 cases documented across the country last week.
“We are still at an unacceptably high baseline level,” Fauci said Monday during the briefing.
Although vaccines can help prevent people from getting serious cases of COVID-19, the shots may not prevent them from getting completely sick. It is not yet clear whether vaccinated people can be disease carriers, meaning they could transmit diseases to unvaccinated people in a community where vaccination is not yet nearly universal, prolonging the pandemic.
“We hope that when the data comes in, it will show that the level of the virus is quite low and it is not transmitting it,” but, Fauci warned, “we do not know now. And for that reason, we want to make sure that people continue to wear masks to even though they are vaccinated. “
Early signs seem promising that vaccinated people may not spread the virus well, but it is still too early to say for sure.
Fauci has suggested waiting until fall to reopen movie theaters.
Fauci’s comments came on the same day that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that theaters in his state would reopen in early March. Indoor weddings and catered events of up to 150 people will also be allowed to resume in New York in mid-March.
Fauci has previously suggested that a better strategy would be to reopen theaters in the fall, when a “more substantial portion” of the United States has been vaccinated.
In the meantime, there is still the possibility of safe, distanced (and masked) outdoor sports and events, like Fauci’s favorite baseball.
“I hope that by the time we get to May, June and July, we have enough vaccinated people in the country that the level of infection is low enough, maybe not full herd immunity yet, but low enough to say that. . we can go to a game, you know: wear a mask, but be seated, not sitting next to each other, “Fauci previously said during an online question and answer session with JAMA.
COVID-19 vaccines are already bringing relief to millions of people across the country, individually, from the prospect of serious illness and death.
“People are interested in taking the [COVID-19] vaccines in bulk for the same reason that people are interested in getting vaccinated against MMR and the flu, “Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House for the response to COVID-19, said in the briefing with Fauci.
“Because they want to live. They don’t want him to get sick and they don’t want to die.”