Assistant Sec. of Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who was tasked in March with coordinating the federal government's coronavirus testing programs, said Sunday “simple” policy and behavioral changes could get the same results as a shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 cases in the Sunbelt and parts of the West.
In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Dr. Giroir, a pediatrician, said “we need to be very selective.”
“If we shut everything down again, that would do it, but we don’t need to,” he said. But remember, there’s a tremendous health cost to shutting down — mental, emotional, substance use, but also no cancer screenings, no vaccines, all those other things.”
“So let’s do what we know really works,” he said. “[A]void bars because they really spread, restaurant capacity down 50%, hand hygiene and please wear a mask in public, that’s really, really, really important. We’ve got to have 90 or 95% adherence to that and we can achieve the same results.”
In a separate interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Giroir said getting children back into school this fall has to be done safely,
“It’s really important to get kids physically back in school, but we do have to do that safely and the first thing we need to do, is we need to get the virus under control,” he said, adding “we’re learning a lot from Sweden, Finland and Japan about how to do this safely.”
“The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines are right on target,” he added.
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