Dr. Fauci Just Warned That These States Are Increasingly "Vulnerable"

He suggests putting up a "red flag" for these states that are not yet hotspots.

While coronavirus rages on in the country's new epicenters—Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas—some states are doing relatively well in their regional fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. But Anthony Fauci, MD, says no state should get too comfortable. He gave something of an urgent warning to even those states who happen to border states that are seeing current spikes in cases of the coronavirus. "There are a number of states that are nearby that are really quite vulnerable for the same thing happening, and we certainly want to avoid that," Fauci said on July 8.

During an interview with Marc Seigel, MD, host of SiriusXM's Dr. Radio Reports on July 8, Fauci noted that many of these bordering states are starting to show "a slight increase in the percent positivity," meaning positive test rates. He said this is the sort of thing "that would have you at least put a red flag up to watch them."

So while Arizona, Florida, California, and Texas are making headlines, border states like Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Georgia—all of whom have had their own share of struggles—should consider preventative measures.

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The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told Seigel that these specific situations have been discussed at White House coronavirus task force meetings, and he reiterated the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.

Fauci also suggested that authorities in bordering states consider shutting down places like bars "before you wind up seeing a really bad spike."

A sign tells customers that a business is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on July 8, Fauci issued a similar warning about rolling back on reopening in an interview with The Wall Street Journal podcast, The Journal. "I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down," he said.

"We've got to just tighten things up," Fauci added, again telling states to "close the bars," ensure that indoor restaurants have "very good seating," and require patrons to wear masks and abide by social distancing guidelines.

Fauci similarly advised states that may currently have better control of the virus to proceed with caution. "Do it in a measured way, the way the guidelines delineate," he said. "If you do that, the chances of getting a surge are much, much less than if you just jump over things." And for more states that should be concerned, check out These Are the 9 States Where the COVID Death Rate Is Rising.

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