“First, as case counts have come down in some states, we tend to see that people become less careful, they tend to have more contact,” he said. “But then the most important effect is the seasonality of the virus, that people go indoors, transmission happens more.”
It’ll be especially challenging moving into the new season, Fauci said, with a daily average of more than 40,000 cases nationwide.
“You don’t want to enter into the fall and winter with a community spread at that level, because if you do, you got a difficult situation that’s going to be really challenging,” Fauci told JAMA Editor in Chief Dr. Howard Bauchner.
Murray says the IHME model shows a “huge surge” expected to take off in October “and accelerate in November and December.”
“There’s a real risk that winter surge has already started in Europe,” Murray said. “Cases are exploding there. So we know it’s coming and we expect it to hit the US pretty soon.”
Florida clears bars and restaurants to fully reopen
Bars and restaurants in Florida are now allowed to operate at full capacity, just as the number of coronavirus cases nears 700,000.
The state has reported at least 698,682 Covid-19 cases and 14,022 deaths since the pandemic started, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said removing state restrictions on bars and restaurants is “an acceleration” and “it’s a lot faster that we had planned.”
“We’ll see in the next couple of weeks whether he’s right about his perspective. But if he’s wrong about his perspective … it’s going to be very, very, very difficult for him and it’s going to be a very difficult time, because it’s in the middle of flu season,” Suarez told CNN on Saturday.
Restaurants can’t be limited by local governments to operate at less than 50% of their indoor capacity, according to the governor’s order. If local governments opt to restrict restaurants to less than 100% of their capacity, they have to provide “the justification and they’ve got to identify what the costs are involved with doing that are,” the governor said.
DeSantis said he wants the state to be able to offer a “full Super Bowl” in February.
Dr. Saju Mathew, a primary care physician and public health specialist, said on CNN Saturday that he was shocked by the governor’s decision.
“I just see no way that that would be possible” to host the Super Bowl. “People will be coming from so many different states … If you group in a lot of different people in a tight space, how are you going to be able to socially distance? I think it’s a very dangerous move.”
Fauci: Covid-19 vaccinations could start in November
“By the time you get enough people vaccinated….so that you can start thinking about maybe getting a little bit more towards normality, that very likely, as I and others have said, will be maybe the third quarter or so of 2021,” he told Bauchner. “Maybe even into the fourth quarter.”
In the meantime, Fauci and other leading experts have urged residents to continue heeding safety guidelines and wearing masks, keeping a distance, avoid crowded places and washing their hands.
The measures could be life-saving.
“This research clearly confirms that despite high rates of COVID-19 in the United States, the number of people with antibodies is still low and we haven’t come close to achieving herd immunity,” one of the study authors, Dr. Julie Parsonnet, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, said in a statement.
“Until an effective vaccine is approved, we need to make sure our more vulnerable populations are reached with prevention measures.”
CNN’s Jay Croft, Lauren Mascarenhas, Melissa Alonso, Shelby Lin Erdman, Andrea Kane and Konstantin Toropin contributed to this report.