She recommended that people living in communities with increasing cases consider wearing a mask at home if they live with someone who is particularly vulnerable due to age or underlying medical conditions.
“What we see today is different from March and April. It is extremely widespread, ”said Dr Birx, adding that rural areas have not been spared. “So everyone who lives in a rural area, you are not immune.”
She stressed the importance of asymptomatic transmission. “If you have an epidemic in your rural area or in your town, you should really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming you are HIV positive if you have people in your household with comorbidities,” he said. she declared.
She and Admiral Brett Giroir, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, stressed the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding crowds. Admiral Giroir said some of the efforts appeared to help in recent weeks reduce the number of cases in Arizona and some other states that have been hit hard this summer.
He has repeatedly returned to wearing masks as perhaps the most effective preventive measure in communities facing an epidemic. “Wearing a mask is extremely important, but we have to have 85 or 90 percent of people wearing a mask and avoiding the crowds,” he said. These percentages, he said, give you “the same result as a complete stop.”
When asked if he recommends a national mask mandate, Admiral Giroir said: “The public health message is that we have to wear a mask. He added, “If we don’t do this, and if we don’t limit crowded indoor spaces, the virus will continue to run.”
Dr Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN that in many areas where cases are increasing, the availability of tests is lagging far behind. “In 18 or 20 states, the number of tests being done is actually going down and down because our testing system is under such strain that we can’t even deliver the test today that we did two weeks ago. This is very worrying because when the cases increase and the number of tests decreases, it is a recipe for disaster, ”he said.