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Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told Americans Friday that if they are vaccinated and have received a booster shot, they should feel ‘reasonably comfortable’ at holiday gatherings this season.

But he also hedged his remarks amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, and urged people to take masking precautions in indoor settings – while not ruling out advising a more restrictive approach.   

‘If you are vaccinated, your family’s vaccinated, you have friends who are vaccinated and hopefully also boosted, you could still enjoy a social gathering generally in a home,’ Fauci said in an appearance on CNBC’s ‘Sqwalk Box’ Friday morning, when asked if people should attend holiday events.

‘You’ve got to be careful when you go into large public indoor spaces, where there are a lot of people there and that’s the reason why you should be wearing a mask under those circumstances,’ Fauci said.

He said the latest data on the state of play of the virus should be the guide. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans who have gotten booster shots should feel 'reasonably comfortable' at holiday gatherings this season, amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans who have gotten booster shots should feel 'reasonably comfortable' at holiday gatherings this season, amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans who have gotten booster shots should feel ‘reasonably comfortable’ at holiday gatherings this season, amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant

‘But you got to follow what’s going on. If the counts keep going up and the test positivity keeps going up, we may need to be more restrictive,’ he said. ‘But for right now, people who are vaccinated and boosted should feel reasonably comfortable, the risk is never zero, that’s for sure.’

Fauci, who serves as President Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisor, spoke amid multiple concerning data points about the spread of the virus and the omicron variant.

The U.S. 7-day average of cases is about 119,000 per day, Centers for Disease Control head Rochelle Walensky said at a White House covid briefing Friday. At least 39 states and 75 countries have reported the presence of the Omicron variant, she said.

Hospitalizations jumped 4 per cent in the seven-day-average compared to a week ago, she said. 

The U.S. 7-day average of cases is about 119,000 per day, Centers for Disease Control head Rochelle Walensky said at a White House covid briefing Friday

The U.S. 7-day average of cases is about 119,000 per day, Centers for Disease Control head Rochelle Walensky said at a White House covid briefing Friday

The U.S. 7-day average of cases is about 119,000 per day, Centers for Disease Control head Rochelle Walensky said at a White House covid briefing Friday

New Yorkers line up for covid testing amid the surge in cases

New Yorkers line up for covid testing amid the surge in cases

New Yorkers line up for covid testing amid the surge in cases

Fauci spoke on CNBC and spoke of the possibility of new restrictions

Fauci spoke on CNBC and spoke of the possibility of new restrictions

Fauci spoke on CNBC and spoke of the possibility of new restrictions

 

Fauci said the nation is contending with both an Omicron surge and the spread of the Delta variant.

‘We are now facing a very important delta surge and we are looking over our shoulder at an oncoming omicron surge,” he said. ‘Clearly unvaccinated individuals … are really at a high risk of serious involvement, including hospitalization.’

He said regulators are open to redefining what it means to be fully vaccinated – amid a collection of data showing the critical nature of booster shots to fending off Omicron. 

Delta continues to be the dominant virus strain, but data in New York, where Omicron is on the rise, have shown case numbers to be doubling about every three days. New Yorkers have been lined up at testing cites. 

Source: dailymail

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