Fauci says people should decide 'individual risk' for COVID, reverting back to masks possible

Fauci urged Congress to provide funding for tests, drugs and vaccines

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Dr. Anthony Fauci advised that individuals will need to decide for themselves their personal level of risk for events and COVID-19 exposure going forward as people learn to live with the virus. 

"What's going to happen is that we're going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take in going to indoor dinner is going to functions even within the realm of a green zone," Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s "This Week" on Sunday. "It’s going to be a person's decision about the individual risk they're going to take."

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"We're at that point where in many respects … we're going to have to live with some degree of virus in the community," he added. 

The CDC has labeled most of the country as a "green zone," which indicates a "low" level of concern regarding infection: The CDC recommends staying up-to-date with vaccines and getting tested if an individual has symptoms. 

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Precautions such as wearing masks or additional precautions for high-risk individuals do not kick in until a zone is designated "red" or "high" risk, but Fauci downplayed concerns of significant upticks in infections and the possibility of moving towards that "red zone." 

"It was said that if we do start seeing an uptick, particularly of hospitalizations, we may need to revert back to being more careful and having more utilizations of masks indoors," Fauci said. "But right now, we're watching it very, very carefully and there is concern that it's going up, but hopefully we're not going to see increased severity." 

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Fauci praised the level of vaccination and precaution among Americans, but he cautioned that people need to remain aware of the waning immunity that occurs over time. 

The CDC has already suggested a fourth dose of approved COVID-19 vaccines for severely immunocompromised individuals, and Fauci urged eligible individuals to consider.

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More importantly, he urged Congress to provide the necessary funding for new tests, drugs and further vaccines to maintain protection and prepare for a possible further surge of infections. 

"Right now, if we don't get that support … we're not going to be ready for it," Fauci claimed.