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

Coronavirus cases rise in 22 states

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Texas added a backlog of cases on Sept. 22, removing that from the 7-day average Texas' cases increased 28.3%; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. EST: 32,273,576 — Total deaths: 983,751 — Total recoveries: 22,261,136Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m EST: 6,980,104 — Total deaths: 202,827 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  4. Business: The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  5. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
9 hours ago - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

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