Nearly all coronavirus transmission happens in these 5 places
  • The vast majority of coronavirus cases right now are occurring in just five types of places, according to CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

  • Three of the places are related, as they include restaurants, cafes, and bars.
  • Gupta said that mass coronavirus lockdown situations can be avoided if localities instead focus on these specific kinds of places when instituting new restrictions.

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has made an ominous new prediction about the scope of the coronavirus pandemic, which is continuing to worsen considerably in the US thanks in part to holiday travel that’s spreading the virus more around the country.

In an interview with Newsweek, Dr. Fauci offered a considerably bleak prediction ahead of a holiday-fueled surge in coronavirus cases: January, he thinks, is going to be utterly terrible. Maybe even the worst month of the pandemic yet. “I think January is going to be terrible, because you’re going to have the Thanksgiving surge super-imposed upon the Christmas surge,” Dr. Fauci explained. “So, it’s entirely conceivable that January could be the worst.”

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That’s because holiday travel represents pretty much the perfect vehicle for more spread of the virus — with people moving around the country, often packed in tight spaces like airplanes, spending time in enclosed spaces like homes with multiple generations of families, and engaging in physical contact like hugging with them.

To date, more than 14.2 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. One way that can be cut down is by widespread usage and the wearing of face masks, something that — surprising as it might sound, considering how long we’ve been dealing with COVID-19 — the CDC is now recommending for the first time for when people are outside of their home. Specifically, when people are in any indoor setting that’s not their own home, the CDC is now saying you really need to be wearing a face mask.

“Consistent and correct use of face masks is a public health strategy critical to reducing respiratory transmission” of the coronavirus, the report reads, going on to note how necessary this is “in light of estimates that approximately one-half of new infections are transmitted by persons who have no symptoms.” Something that’s all the more important to remember now that the holiday season and colder weather mean people are spending more time indoors.

CNN’s @drsanjaygupta says the US is at a “breaking point” as the country reports the highest single-day total since the pandemic began.

“This is starting to defy the models — even the aggressive ones — in terms of how bad things could get.”

— New Day (@NewDay) December 3, 2020

With all that said, CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained on the network at one point a few days ago that “It’s really … five primary locations where 80% of viral transmissions are happening in our society.” This is important to be aware of, he continued, because it’s probably a better idea to target these specific kinds of locations with lockdown orders, rather than implementing them across whole swaths of a populace.

The five kinds of places where coronavirus cases are spreading the most are:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Bars
  3. Cafes
  4. Hotels
  5. Places of worship

“Much of society can still stay open and still function as long as people wear masks and things like that — it doesn’t need to go into a complete lockdown,” Gupta said. With the pandemic set to get even worse in the US, Gupta offered at least one small ray of hope — that if “we actually started to employ mask mandates and talk about those five locations,” we could reverse the tide of coronavirus case increases.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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