Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said that going to bars right now is "really not good" and discouraged people from congregating with people from outside their household in confined spaces.
In a US Senate committee hearing today, previously reported on by Business Insider, Dr. Fauci said that he wants states to be able to open up but that he also wants people to venture out safely and in lower risk ways.
"Bars, really not good, really not good. Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that right now," he said.
His statement comes as bars in states like Arizona, Texas, and Florida have been ordered to close again after seeing a spike in cases over the past few weeks. One bar in Michigan is believed to have been the source of 107 cases of the virus.
Dr. Fauci suggested getting outside and seeing in friends in lower risk ways. Experts have previously suggested meeting in places like public parks or in peoples' backyards with masks and social distancing in effect. You can read up on the risk level of summer activities and the precautions that experts suggest here.
"You can get outdoors, you can interact, wear a mask, try to avoid the close congregation of people, wash your hands often, but don't just make it all or none," Fauci said during the hearing: "We've got to be able to get people to get out and enjoy themselves within the safe guidelines that we have. Make public health work for you as opposed to against you."
He also added that younger people are not immune to the virus and even if they don't get seriously ill, they could pass it on to others for whom the virus could have grave consequences.
"I think we need to emphasize the responsibility that we have both as individuals, and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic, that we all have to play a part in that," Fauci said.
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