With students headed back to school, worries about the coronavirus are flaring, just as cases flare across the country. The director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, spoke with Dr. Howard Bauchner of the Journal of the American Medical Association yesterday about the states he's worried about the most, and how we can continue to keep the death rate falling. Read on, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss this list of Sure Signs You've Had Coronavirus.
He Said We Will See the COVID Death Rate Drop
"You and I are going to see the cases continue to drop. And then hopefully this week and next week, you're going to start seeing the death rate really start to drop again." he said. "I think we're going to start to see a decline in mortality across the country now next week as we continue to get control of these cases." However, he added that there were still more daily cases than he'd like. "I like to see us down into 10,000 cases and obviously see fewer and fewer jurisdictions that we would consider in the red zone."
He Said Middle America is Still in Danger From COVID
"We're starting to see some of the cases now in the red zone areas are falling, but if you look at those states that are in what we call the yellow zone, between 5% and 10%, they're not falling, so middle America right now"—states like Nebraska and Oklahoma, he said—"is getting stuck." "This is why it's so important for middle America to recognize the mitigation steps that we talked about, about masks, about social distancing, hand washing, closing bars, being smart about crowds."
He Said the South is 'Turning the Tide' on the Southern Outbreak
"We are beginning to turn the tide on what I call the Southern outbreak in the nation," he said. "I've seen pretty strong data that the mitigation steps that we've advocated something as simple as a social distancing, washing your hands, closing bars, and then having limited indoor dining at restaurants. If you see how Arizona, for example, put that in play—and literally you saw, you know, about two to four weeks later, you really see that we can get control of this pandemic."
He Said Wearing a Mask Protects 'the Vulnerable Around Us'
The outbreak has resulted in "a big loss of life. And this is why, if there's a message from us from a public health point of view, the most important thing we can do is do everything we can to protect the vulnerable around us—not just those in nursing homes, but also those of us that are elderly that might have certain comorbidities, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney disease, lung disease—we all have an important role to play. I always say, well, the reason I wear my mask, it's not to protect me, I wear my mask in case I'm infected to protect you. Cause I want COVID to stop with me."
He Urged Americans to Get Their Flu Shots
"My big concern about the flu and COVID coming together. Clearly we'd like to see these mitigation steps really slow the impact of COVID now," he said. "So we can get those and get those in full practice and full operation as we move into the fall while you and I talked more about the importance of what we can do to prepare for flu with flu immunization…We don't need to have a third wave in the heartland right now," he continued. "We need to prevent that particularly as we're coming to the fall."
Here's How to Avoid Catching COVID-19
"We don't have to close retail, you don't have to lock down," said Redfield. "We really just need to wear face coverings when we can't social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds. Particularly obviously the overcrowding that occurs in bars and indoor restaurants, and we can get this outbreak under control." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.