STATEN ICELAND, NY – Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday it was "possible" that Americans could still wear face masks and slippers in 2022 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to current reports.
Fauci said during CNN State of the Union that residents could wear masks outside of their homes in a year, despite predicting the nation would return to "a significant degree of normalcy" in the fall and winter. While both Fauci and President Joe Biden recently suggested that the country could get closer to normal by the end of the year, the masks will remain in place in at least a year.
"I think it's possible that it is, and it really depends on what you mean by normality," Fauci said when asked if Americans will have to wear masks in 2022.
Coronavirus levels would need to be so low that there is virtually no or minimal threat of exposing someone to an infected person, Fauci added.
"If you combine most of the people in the country who are being vaccinated with very, very low virus rates in the community, then you probably won't necessarily be able to say that they don't necessarily have to wear masks," Fauci said CNN.
So while you still have to wear a mask when you go outside your home, Fauci shared a little hope on Sunday – that the American will have a sense of normalcy in the fall and winter.
“I think we will have a significant amount of normalcy beyond the terrible stress we all went through last year. When we get into the fall and winter, by the end of the year, I totally agree with the President that we will move closer to a certain degree of normalcy, ”said Fauci. "It may or may not be exactly how it was in November 2019, but it will be much, much better than what we are doing right now."
The news comes just days after the New York Department of Health (DOH) updated its guidelines on face coverings to recommend people over the age of 2 wear tight-fitting masks with two or three layers of material. It is also said that New Yorkers can wear two masks – with a cloth over a disposable mask. Don't use two single-use masks, however, the DOH said.
The guidelines also suggest higher quality masks like KN95 for those at higher risk of disease, including those 65 and over, underlying medical conditions, and those caring for someone who is sick.
"Masks help us face the world and each other, but it's important that we cover ourselves up properly," said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “The strategies we share today will help keep us all safe from COVID-19. The most important thing remains that you wear the face coverings evenly and correctly, covering both your nose and mouth indoors and out. "
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a study that found that two masks were better at slowing the spread of the coronavirus than using a single medical mask or cloth mask.
The study used two artificial heads six feet apart to see how many coronavirus particles were spat out and inhaled. The researchers found that wearing a surgical mask blocked about 42% of the particles from a simulated cough and that a single cloth mask did slightly better at about 44.3%.
However, covering a surgical mask with a cloth mask blocked 92.5% of cough particles, the study says.
FOLLOW KNUDSON ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ANNALIZE.