Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said COVID-19 cases would need to go “way down” before most vaccinated Americans can safely gather publicly indoors without masks.
The White House chief medical adviser said the virus is still currently spreading too much in nearly the entire country to change that recommendation.
“It’s about 95,000 [cases nationwide per day] as the seven-day average. That’s still way too high,’ Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked what the threshold would have to be to ease the CDC’s indoor-mask recommendation for even most vaccinated people.
“We want to get way, way down to … I mean, I like to see it well below 10,000 [cases per day] and even much lower than that,” he said.
“But when you’re at 95,000 [cases per day], that’s still a situation where you have a high degree of dynamic circulation of virus in the community.”
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors if they’re in “an area of substantial or high transmission,” citing the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
More than 96 percent of the country is currently in an area of “substantial” or “high” transmission, according to the latest data.
Still, wearing a mask is only required by the federal government on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation, in addition to in transportation hubs such as airports and stations.