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Dr. Fauci urges vaccinated people to wear masks outside this winter

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Dr Fauci has urged vaccinated Americans to continue wearing a mask outdoors this winter and offered up hope that Covid-19 deaths will continue their downward trajectory in the next few months.

Fauci was asked during an interview with Greta Van Susteren, which will be aired on Sunday, if he expected another surge in Covid cases this winter caused by different variants. “I strongly suspect that you’re going to start seeing the deaths go down similar to the hospitalizations; how quickly they go down and how thoroughly they go down is going to depend a lot on a number of circumstances, which will be influenced by things like the colder weather, people doing things indoors,” Fauci said.

Fauci noted that there has been a ‘turnaround in the slope’ in the prevalence of cases and hospitalizations over the last few weeks. The current 7-day daily average for September 29–October 5, 2021, was 7,440. That is a 13.2% decrease from the prior 7-day average (8,378) from September 22–September 28. 

On Thursday, the US reported 110,060 new infections, with a seven-day rolling average of 112,792. That is a 32 percent decline from the 166,113 averages reported four weeks ago and the lowest figure seen since early August, according to a DailyMail.com analysis. 

Fauci said that while “deaths are still up, it’s really flattening, so it’s a lagging indicator.” He also stressed that masks should remain in use even by vaccinated people when they step out of their home. “When you have a lot of infection in the community, even though you’re vaccinated, when you are not home but outside in congregate settings in the public, wearing masks, I think would be very prudent,” he said. 

Other experts believe that sending a positive message to the public may lead to them becoming complacent. Emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University Leana Wen told The Hill that she’s concerned people will become “complacent because they think that the delta wave is passing us.”

“We have seen this happen before, where there is a rise in the number of cases, then a decline, and then people let down their guard. And as a result, we plateau at a very high level of cases. That’s unacceptable,” she added. On October 1, the US surpassed 700,000 Covid deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.  

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