Dr. Anthony Fauci said ove the weekend that he expects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release new guidance on outdoor mask wearing “soon” — as the risk of spreading COVID-19 is “really, really quite low” in the fresh air, The New York Post reports.
“I think it’s pretty common sense now that outdoor risk is really, really quite low,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “If you are a vaccinated person, wearing a mask outdoors, obviously, the risk is minuscule.”
“What I believe you’re going to be hearing, what the country is going to be hearing soon is updated guidelines from the CDC,” he said.
“The CDC is a science-based organization. They don’t want to make any guidelines unless they look at the data, and the data backs it up. But when you look around at the commonsense situation, obviously, the risk is really very low, particularly if you are vaccinated.”
The new guidance comes as some states that don’t require masks — “such as Texas — are recording lower rates of infection than others with mandates for public indoor spaces or crowded areas,” according to the Post.
Fauci’s comments show a shift from early pandemic rhetoric. Guidelines like “social distancing were sold to Americans then as a temporary way to ‘flatten the curve’ so hospitals are not overwhelmed — not necessarily to prevent a certain level of infections from entering the community,” according to a Fox News report.
Fauci on Sunday also added that the country is approaching normal “in some respects,” but noted it is still averaging about 60,000 new cases per day.
“That’s a precarious level, and we don’t want that to go up,” he said.