Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wears a mask as he waits for the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee to respond to the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. June 23, 2020
Kevin Ditch | Pool through Reuters
States with growing outbreaks of coronavirus may not need to close again, as many did in March, but they may need to consider pausing or canceling the reopening stages, said White House adviser on coronavirus Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci specifically cited Texas, Arizona, Florida, and other states with a “serious problem” as places that might need to be considered.
“I wouldn’t necessarily speak of an absolute shutdown, blocking, but if someone moves from the gateway to phase one to phase two and he has problems in phase two, he may have to return to phase one,” says Fauchi , director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told members of Congress during a hearing on the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. “I do not think that they should definitely return to closing.”
“Gateway” refers to requirements Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set out in its guidelines for reopening, which the agency believes should be satisfied before the state considers moving to the next phase of reopening. Gateway requirements include metrics such as a 14-day decrease in the number of new daily cases and a decrease in the number of visits to the emergency room.
In recent weeks, the incidence has increased in more than two dozen states, mainly in the American south and west. On Tuesday, California, Arizona, and Texas reported more new cases in one day than ever before. In some parts of the country, including the Houston area of Harris County, Texas, hospitals are close to the intensive care unit’s bandwidth and may be forced to switch to surgery “in a few weeks,” according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s office.
According to Fauci, some parts of the country continue to successfully reduce transmission, gradually easing restrictions, citing New York and Washington, DC.
“There are other areas, other states, other cities that do not do so well. I have serious concerns about them, because I want to make sure that we are all under control, ”he said. “Now this is really a mixed bag. Some are doing well, and some have problems. ”
Some of the states in which leaps were observed in new cases were among the first and most aggressive to rediscover. For example, in Florida on May 4, most restaurants and shops with limited capacity were allowed to open. The densely populated Miami-Dade and Broward counties did not open until May 18. On June 5, most of the state advanced even deeper, allowing stores to open, as well as gyms and some stores to operate at full capacity.
“We are not closing. We are going to go forward … We are not retreating, ”- Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said at a news briefing a week ago. “You must have a public function.”
In some other states, the recent surge in new affairs across the country has prompted officials to postpone reopening plans. In Maine, Democratic Governor Janet Mills announced Monday that the bars would not be open for domestic service on July 1, as previously planned. In her ad she quoted “Outbreaks we have seen across the country related to indoor service” as a reason for the delay.
In Oregon, Democratic Governor Kate Brown announced earlier this month that the state would suspend counties’ renewal requests for seven days due to a surge in new infections.
“This one-week pause will give public health professionals time to assess the factors that influence the spread of the virus,” Brown said in a June 11 statement on Twitter. “I will use the data that we will see next week to determine whether to cancel this pause or extend it.”
According to Fauci, states that are delaying the re-opening or even redefinition of certain restrictions should spend time building capacity to conduct testing, track contacts and isolate infected and exposed people. All three systems help identify propagation chains and cut them off before they can break out.
“I hope that after weeks and months we can do what you are talking about and mobilize the identification, isolation and contact tracing in these states,” he told Congress members on Tuesday. “Those that were recently on the news. “Florida, Arizona, Texas and those states that now have serious problems.”
Fauci said earlier Tuesday that coronavirus infections are “alarming” in parts of the United States. As of Monday, the average number of new infections in the United States has increased by more than 30% in seven days from a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis by Johns Hopkins University.
Unlike many other countries in Europe and Asia, which were able to reduce the spread from their peaks to an acceptable level of tens or hundreds of new cases per day, the United States struggled to ensure that daily new infections were close to zero. According to Fauci, the number of cases in the United States reached approximately 30,000 cases per day at the peak of the outbreak, and then reached approximately 20,000 cases per day.
“Now we go up [again]“A couple of days ago, there were 30,000 new infections,” he said. “This is very troublesome for me.”
– CNBC Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.