Fauci acknowledges outdoor COVID-19 transmission 'low,' expects updated mask guidance
Fauci said the risk for infection in an outdoor setting is 'minuscule'
Dr. Anthony Fauci believes the Centers for Disease Control will soon provide updated COVID-19 guidance on using face masks in outdoor settings, calling it "common sense" to do so.
Face masks have taken an increasingly central role in debate lately as many have questioned the continued and widespread use of masks even as vaccinations continue to soar nationwide. A Georgia mother went viral this week after she sounded off on her local school board continuing its mask mandate through next year.
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Fauci agrees with some of that thought, saying that the risk for people engaging in outdoor activities is "miniscule," especially for vaccinated individuals.
"What I believe you’re going to be hearing, what the country is going to be hearing soon, is updated guidelines from the CDC," Fauci told ABC News' "This Week." "The CDC is a science-based organization. They don’t want to make any guidelines unless they look at the data and the data backs it up."
"But when you look around at the common sense situation, the risk is really low, especially if you’re vaccinated," he said.
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Fauci cited figures that indicate around 30% of the population has been fully vaccinated, with at least 50% having already received one vaccination dose.
The CDC recently lifted a recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, saying that the vaccine "continues to meet" standards for "safety, effectiveness and quality."
Fauci said that ordering the pause was not a mistake, even as vaccine hesitancy remains a significant hurdle for immunization efforts.
"There was a pause, it was examined, and we’re going ahead with it," he said.
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A recent Fox News poll found that 1 in 5 have rejected the vaccine, citing concerns that development was rushed and requesting more data before even scheduling an appointment for their first dose.
"People will realize that we take safety very seriously," Fauci said. "We’re trying to combat the degree of vaccine hesitancy that is still out there."