Coronavirus cases will spike ‘the moment we relax social distancing’, expert warns – The Sun
THE moment Americans stop social distancing is the moment the country will see a surge in coronavirus cases, according to a health expert.
Dr. Joseph Fair told the Today show on Thursday that the U.S. should continue to abide by social distancing guidelines until the country sees a huge curve of decreased cases, widespread testing and a vaccine.
“When we're talking about flattening the curve, we're just at the plateau part of the curve,” the virologist said. “So the moment we relax social distancing guidelines that's going to turn into a new peak.”
Fair said he believes such guidelines will or should remain in effect until 2021.
The doctor said that at this point, it could take the U.S. two to six months to get to the point it needs to be at for testing.
“We're either going to develop herd immunity, or a vaccine. I think we'll probably end up meeting in the middle.”
Fair said that “the peak can only go higher,” and said right now, we’re not “flattening the curve.”
“But what we ultimately want to do before we relax any social distancing measures would be to decrease the curve and see a steady decline.”
He acknowledged “it's bleak and it's unfortunate,” and added: “We're not going to have a vaccine before the end of the year. I hope I'm proven wrong.”
Fair’s comments come as President Donald Trump is pushing to end social distancing in an effort to “reopen” the country.
He said that on Thursday, he will be speaking to governors about his administration’s guidelines for reopening to the country.
Trump said "encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country.”
“We will be announcing guidelines. We will be talking about various states. It’s very exciting. It’s a horrible time to see such death and destruction, especially when you come out of what was the greatest economy in the history of the world.”
“We’ll be opening up states, some sooner than others,” Trump said — before adding he thinks some states will reopen before May 1.
The Trump administration’s federal social distancing guidelines were extended until April 30, and on Wednesday, the president said the outbreak had peaked for the U.S.
He said he had wanted the country to “reopen” by Easter Sunday, hoping for packed churches of worshippers, but now has a goal of May 1 to end some states’ stay-at-home restrictions.
Health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, say the coronavirus is still dangerous and social distancing guidelines should still be observed.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday extended the state’s stay-at-home order for another two weeks, until May 15.
“We have to continue doing what we’re doing. I’d like to see that infection rate get down even more," the governor told reporters.
“So, one month, we’ll continue the close-down policies. What happens after then? I don’t know. We will see what the data shows,” Cuomo said.
“I don’t want to project beyond that period.”
He said that with a decrease in hospitalizations and deaths among New Yorkers, social distancing is working.
“We can control the spread. We did not know for sure we could do that," he said. “We slowed the infection rate by our actions, and that’s why we’re in a better place today."
Coalitions have been formed on both the East and West Coasts by governors working together to try to figure out how and when to reopen their regions — after Trump claimed he had "total authority" to make a decision on states reopening.
Trump later backpedaled the claim he had total control over the states, saying he would work with governors to “authorize” reopenings.
In the northeast, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania are working together.
On the West Coast, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced a similar plan as part of a “western states pact."
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