One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and life in America is still far from returning to normal. While more and more Americans are being vaccinated every day, it doesn’t mean that your favorite spots are once again safe to return to—and might not be for some time. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, continues to warn against visiting certain places, as they have more potential for spreading the virus than others. Read on to find out what places he suggests staying away from—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Don’t Travel, Says Dr. Fauci
Travel is not a good idea—even if you have gotten the COVID vaccine. “Getting vaccinated does not say you have a free pass to travel. Nor does it say you have a free pass to put aside all the public health measures that we talk about all the time,” said Dr. Fauci during the CNN town hall on Wednesday night. “You can get some degree of protection that isn’t durable 10 days to 14 days after the first dose, but you can’t rely on that. The maximum immunity begins about 10 days to two weeks and beyond following the second dose. That goes for anyone, regardless of whether you want to travel or not.”
Dr. Fauci Says Avoid Indoor Dining Spots
Dr. Fauci endorses takeout, but suggests spending time outside of restaurants. “When you have restaurants indoors in a situation where you have a high degree of infection in the community [and] you’re not wearing masks, that’s a problem,” Dr. Fauci told MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes in September.
Avoid Bars and Nightclubs
Bars and nightclubs have superspreader potential as they are not conducive to mask wearing or social distancing, according to Dr. Fauci. “Bars are a really important place of spreading of infection, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “Avoid.”
While Dr. Fauci is an avid runner, he isn’t sprinting on a treadmill inside of a gym during the pandemic. In fact, he has warned time and again about the potential for spread in indoor, shared workout spaces. Fauci has explained that exercise involves breathing more heavily and releasing respiratory droplets into the air–which is the primary way COVID-19 is spread. Additionally, gym equipment can be easily contaminated, makes using a shared space all the riskier.
Be Careful at Places of Worship
While worship is an important part of life for many Americans, any large gathering of people—especially indoors—has superspreader potential. “Crowds in church are important and every time I get a chance to say it, I mention it,” Fauci told Science magazine. “When you say less than 10, it makes common sense that it involves the church.”
Protect Yourself During This Pandemic
So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.