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Dr. Fauci Says Only Small Family Holiday Gatherings Are Safe–As Long As Everyone’s Vaccinated & Boosted

Dr. Fauci Says Only Small Family Holiday Gatherings Are Safe–As Long As Everyone’s Vaccinated & Boosted

With the surge in new infections fueled by the now-dominant Omicron Variant of the coronavirus, many are being forced to cancel travel plans, reconsider visiting loved ones, and decide whether or not they should be attending any large holiday parties as the United States faces a second December disrupted by the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging everyone to keep it to their nearest and dearest once again this year, saying those Americans vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 can be with family over the holidays but attending large gatherings is not safe, even for those who have received a booster dose.

Early evidence indicates Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant, said Dr. Fauci, citing studies from South Africa and Scotland, but warned Americans must remain cautious.

The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases in the United States rose 25% from the previous week to about 149,300 cases per day, said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, with average daily deaths up 3.5% at 1,200.

Omicron represents approximately 73% of cases across the country, said Dr. Walensky, and as high as 90% of cases in some areas, such as the eastern Atlantic states, parts of the Midwest, South, and northern Pacific states.

But there’s good news on the horizon as the Food and Drug Administration authorized Paxlovid, Pfizer’s pill for at-risk people aged 12 and above, on Wednesday. And President Joe Biden has promised over one billion at-home COVID tests which can be mailed to anyone who requests one via a website that will soon be available.

Watch the latest CDC briefing, below.

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