The coronavirus cases are going back up, as the Delta variant rips through unvaccinated people and causes some breakthrough cases. Meanwhile, the CDC says it’s OK if you’re vaccinated to go without a mask. So, given those two sides of the coin, when are you safe??? In a brief interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, led by Mary Hynes, who used questions sent in via social media, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shed some light on how you can make your own “risk assessment.” Read on for his life-saving words—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
One reader asked “If I’m fully vaccinated, is it safe to attend an event that large?” referring to an indoor Garth Brooks concert held in Nevada. “We must refer to the CDC general background recommendations,” said Dr. Fauci. “And that is if you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask, either indoors or outdoors. But there is a ‘but’ to that, and the ‘but’ is … it leaves enough wiggle room or flexibility … if you have an unusual situation.” In the next blurb, he provides a great example of a “risk assessment.”
He went on to give an example: “A person who’s vaccinated who goes to an indoor event with 60,000 people in a state where the level of infection is relatively high and the level of vaccination is relatively low. That means the chances of there being people in that 60,000-person audience who are infected and capable of transmitting it to someone else, even someone who was fully vaccinated, is more of a risk than if you were in a less crowded place in a state that had low level of infection and high level of vaccination. And that’s the judgment call that I think you’re pointing to or suggesting, that each individual is going to have to evaluate their own relative risk.” NOTE: If you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated before attending such a gathering.
Dr. Fauci said there will be no nationwide mandates but “there will be local mandates —and there are — and (the federal government) left the flexibility. For example, we know there are certain cities where the level of vaccination is low and the level of infection is high, where there have been a mask mandate, even for people who are vaccinated — namely, people who are in an arena where there’s so much virus around them. And that since even though the vaccines are highly effective, there may be a situation where you can get a breakthrough infection, even though you don’t have any symptoms and then perhaps pass it on to a child or even an elderly person who might be susceptible to a severe outcome. Bottom line answer to your question is that there likely will be local mandates, it is extremely unlikely that there will be a federal mandate, for example, from the president.”
Dr. Fauci would tell someone who isn’t vaccinated that “the recommendation would be to just look at the data: 99.5 percent of all the people who’ve died from COVID were unvaccinated; 0.5 percent of the people who’ve died from COVID were vaccinated. That statistic alone tells you why it’s critical for everyone to get vaccinated.”
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Follow the data: Get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, no matter where you live—and if you are concerned, wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.