Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, warned of an imminent coronavirus "surge upon surge" because of how many Americans ignored warnings from the CDC and local health agencies and decided to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend anyway — and will probably continue throughout the holidays.
During a videoconference with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday, Fauci said that gatherings and social events between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day will lead to an uptick in the number of new coronavirus cases.
"If you look across the United States, we are really in a public health crisis right now because we are having a surge the likes of which is worse than the surges that we all saw in the late winter, early spring," Fauci said. "We are likely going to see... a surge upon a surge.
Fauci added that cases of new infections spike about two to three weeks after a significant event, such as traveling and holiday gatherings.
"We're going to be looking at 30 or more days of a period of time of precarious risk because even though we're so-called out of the Thanksgiving season, we are rapidly going to emerge into the season of people shopping, crowding, preparing," he said, "perhaps even the ill-advised office parties if they can exist anymore, and then the Christmas holidays and then New Year's Eve and New Year's Day."
Fauci and the governor urged people to continue to take the pandemic seriously by continuing to follow pandemic protocols.
"Uniform wearing of masks, physical distancing, avoiding crowds in congregate settings, particularly indoors, doing outdoors — and we realize sometimes the weather does not permit this — but as much as you possibly can, outdoors versus indoors, and wash your hands frequently," Fauci said. "Avoid the things that we know are pleasant and desirable, though they are dangerous now, like family and friends getting together — 10, 12 people inside a house with poor ventilation."
Polis announced on Saturday night that he and his partner, Marlon Reis, had tested positive for the coronavirus and are isolating at home.
With The Associated Press
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