Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the White House, said holiday parties with vaccinated family and friends pose a fairly low risk even as the Covid-19 omicron variant spreads across the US and causing “a lot of breakthrough infections.”
“If you get vaccinated, your family gets vaccinated, you have friends who are vaccinated — and hopefully boosted — you can still enjoy the benefits of the vaccine,” Fauci said in a Friday interview on CNBC. enjoy a social gathering in a family. “Squawk Box.”
The number of hospitalizations due to covid has increased about 20% in the past two weeks, averaging about 68,400 over the past seven days, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. At the height of the delta wave in September, more than 100,000 Covid patients were hospitalized.
While delta remains the dominant variant in the US, omicron cases are predicted to double every few days or so. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says omicrons account for about 3% of sequenced cases in the US On ThursdayNew York City’s Covid positivity rate doubled from 3.9% on December 9 to 7.8% on December 12, according to officials there. According to an analysis of CNBC data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the number of infections has increased 27% since before Thanksgiving to a seven-day average of 122,000. Cases remain below their recent peak as the country reported an average of more than 170,000 daily cases in September.
“You have to be careful when going into large indoor public spaces where there are a lot of people,” he said. “That’s why you should wear a mask in those cases.”
Fauci said that if Covid cases continue to rise, people “may need to be more restrictive” with their holiday plans. “But for now, people who are vaccinated and boosted should be reasonably comfortable.”
“Risk is never zero,” he said. That is certain in all cases.
Although omicron cases are on the rise, Fauci said he would be comfortable flying (with precautions) if it was necessary.
“If I had to fly, I wouldn’t have a problem. I’m vaccinated. I’m boosted. I know we have to wear masks on the plane,” he said, noting that he currently has no plans to fly anywhere because work keeps him in Washington.
Fauci says masks on planes and in indoor places like airports work. “Without a doubt, cloth masks work,” he said. “N95s are the best. But they are relatively uncomfortable to wear. Not many people wear them. But regular masks as well as cloth masks are fine.”
The best way to protect against Covid is to get vaccinated and stay healthy, Fauci added.
– by CNBC Nate Rattner contributed to this report.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/17/dr-anthony-fauci-on-flying-holiday-parities-as-covid-omicron-spikes.html Dr. Anthony Fauci on flights, holiday parties as Covid omicron spikes