Dr. Fauci: If coronavirus infection rate is low, kids should go back to school

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (News Nation/WTNH) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, applauded Connecticut residents for how they’re handling the COVID-19 pandemic as he joined Governor Ned Lamont during his daily coronavirus response briefing, noting schools should resume in-classroom learning if the infection rate is low.

Fauci said while some southern and western states are battling a surge in hospitalizations, he doesn’t think that will happen in the Nutmeg State.

“Connecticut is in a good place,” Fauci said. “The numbers that the governor just showed are really indicative that you are in a situation that you now, in many respects, have the upper hand because you have such a low rate that when you do get new cases, you have the capability of containment as opposed to mitigation.”

While virus-related deaths and hospitalizations have fluctuated within the past few weeks, the state is seeing a less than one percent positivity rate for new cases.

Facui said it’s that percentage that makes him think Connecticut won’t see a severe spike in cases.

“…The spike, the favorable numbers, you’re not pulling back on vigilance and making sure you don’t have a surgence of cases that would put you back, rather than stay where you are and going forward.”

He said part of that is due to persistent mask-wearing and choice to social distance.

“You [the state] have maintained certain things that I consider five or six of the very important things that we need to do to stay ahead of the virus: universal using of masks, avoid crowded places, 6-foot distance — maintain that whether or not you have a mask or not…indoors are worse than outdoors. Outdoors are always more favorable for no transmission…”

While the state is still torn when it comes to the topic of back to school, Fauci said if the numbers are low enough, children should head back to the classroom.

“Depending upon what level you’re in, my approach is always, and I’ll say it whether I’m in Connecticut or in any other place, is that the default position should be to try as best as you possibly can to open up the schools for in-person learning,” he explained. “If the infection rate is so low that there is very little chance of there being infections spread, then you should feel okay about doing it.”

In a recent poll by the state, 76% of students polled said they expect to attend in-person even though remote learning is optional.

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