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Anthony Fauci testifies on Capitol Hill on June 30. Photo: Al Drago via Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci and five other public health experts explained their daily coronavirus rituals and precautions to the Washington Post in a Q&A published Friday.

The big picture: The experts gave unanimous answers to some questions — on when they wear a mask and how they avoid eating inside restaurants — but differed on sending kids back to school in the fall.

  • Ezekiel Emanuel, World Health Organization special adviser, says that four factors should be taken into consideration for any activity during the pandemic: (1) enclosed space, (2) duration of interaction, (3) crowds, and (4) forceful exhalation.
Wearing a mask
  • Fauci told the Post that the only time he doesn't wear a mask is when he's alone, at home with his wife, or speaking in public while social distancing.
  • Paul A. Volberding, professor of medicine and emeritus professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California at San Francisco, told the Post that he wears a mask "most of the time, although not inside the house or sitting outside on my second-floor deck."
  • Barry Bloom, Jacobson research professor and former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told the Post that he wears a mask every time he leaves the house, "inside and outside, and certainly when I shop."
  • David Satcher, founder of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine, told the Post that he wears a mask "All the time. Even when I’m in the office, I keep it on, since people are always coming in and out. The only time I don’t is when I am home."
Avoiding the gym
  • Fauci and Elizabeth Connick, chief of the infectious diseases division and professor of medicine and immunobiology at the University of Arizona, told the Post that they wouldn't go to a gym.
  • Volberding told the Post that he "wouldn’t go eagerly" to a gym. "They can’t disinfect everything all of the time. As for pools, if anything, outdoors yes, indoors no," he said.
  • Linda Bell, South Carolina’s state epidemiologist, told the Post that she "would only run, walk or hike where there were few other people, making it easy to avoid close contact."
Eating in restaurants
  • Fauci and Connick told the Post that they would not eat inside a restaurant. Connick said that she "might consider dining outside, although I would rather not."
  • Volberding told the Post that he "wouldn’t feel comfortable yet with indoor seating, but I’d feel comfortable outside, with distances between the tables. We haven’t gone yet."
  • Satcher told the Post that he has "not dined inside a restaurant in a long time," adding: "I have not dined outside, but I would if I could be six feet away from other people. I do sometimes get takeout."
Sending kids back to school in the fall
  • Fauci said simply: "It really depends on where you live."
  • Volberding told the Post: "The data I’ve heard about suggest that the really young kids are not much of an infection reservoir, so I think it might be okay for preschool, day care and elementary school. The question gets to be harder in high school and college."
  • Bloom told the Post that she would send young kids back to school in the fall, adding: "I believe that the process of socialization is really important, and that long-term deprivation of that is probably going to do more harm than the occasional child becoming infected."

Go deeper: Read the Q&A in the Washington Post

Go deeper

Oct 12, 2020 - Health

What the White House outbreak says about the limits of testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The White House coronavirus outbreak has provided a high-profile example of the limitations of rapid diagnostic testing.

Why it matters: New kinds of tests are quickly coming onto the market and being used in places like schools and nursing homes, adding urgency to the debate over how such testing should be used.

Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy, large study shows — FDA authorizes mix-and-match for booster shots — J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year.
  2. Health: Cases and deaths keep falling — White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11 — The global coronavirus vaccine gap — Gates Foundation to send $120 million of antiviral pills to lower-income countries.
  3. Politics: Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates — Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 12, 2020 - World

U.K. PM Boris Johnson to announce 3-tier coronavirus lockdown system

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The U.K.'s hospitality industry has begun a legal challenge to prevent new local coronavirus lockdown rules for England being announced Monday from taking effect, per Reuters.

Driving the news: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired a meeting Oct. 7 "to determine the final interventions." He is expected to announce a three-tier alert system to tackle areas where COVID-19 is surging, the BBC notes.