* Dr. Anthony Fauci cautions against indoor dining and theatergoing even for those fully vaccinated.
* The number of cases in the US remains high.
* He said it'd be safer to gather indoors again as more people get vaccinated and COVID-19 cases drop.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US's leading infectious-disease expert, is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, but it seems unlikely that you'll find him dining in any restaurants or catching a movie in theaters just yet.
"There are things, even if you're vaccinated, that you're not going to be able to do in society," Fauci said on Monday during a White House COVID-19 press briefing. "For example, indoor dining, theaters, places where people congregate. That's because of the safety of society."
Fauci's comments came on the same day the US passed the grim milestone of 500,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. He stressed that while being vaccinated dramatically increases one's "own personal safety," it's not a free pass to party as if it's 2019, at least not yet.
"Because the burden of virus in society will be very high - which it is right now," he said.
Though the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day in the US has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, the virus is still spreading, with nearly 450,000 COVID-19 cases documented in the past week.
"We are still at an unacceptably high baseline level," Fauci said at Monday's briefing.
Though vaccines can help prevent people from contracting severe cases of COVID-19, the jabs may not stop them from getting sick altogether. It's also still unclear whether vaccinated people can be disease carriers, meaning they might spread illness to unvaccinated people in a community where vaccination is far from universal, prolonging the pandemic.
"We hope that when the data comes in, it's going to... (Read more)
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