Fauci Warns Parents about Children Playing Together Without Masks

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that children should be wearing masks while “interacting with groups from multiple households.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: When you were last with us, you said that your expectation was that elementary school kids likely wouldn’t be vaccinated until the first quarter of 2022. For parents who are trying to plan their summers, what does that mean? Can they send their kids to summer camp? Can they allow them to play again on playgrounds?

FAUCI: You know, it is conceivable that that will be possible, MARGARET, because what we’re seeing is, you know, as you just mentioned on the piece, we now have three to 3.5 million vaccinations each day. If we keep up at that pace, invariably that’s going to drive the rate and the level of infections per day to a much, much lower level. If we get into the summer and you have a considerable percentage of the- of the population vaccinated and the level in the community gets below that plateau that’s worrying me and my colleagues in public health, it is conceivable that you would have a good degree of flexibility during the summer, even with the children, with things like camps. We don’t know that for sure, but I think that’s an aspirational goal that we should go for.

BRENNAN: So if parents are vaccinated, they still do need to be concerned about their unvaccinated children playing together in groups. Is that right?

FAUCI: Yeah, the children can clearly wind up getting infected. When we talk about what you can do when you’re vaccinated, you can certainly have members of a family if the adults are vaccinated and you’re in the home with your child, you don’t need to wear a mask and you can have physical contact. When the children go out into the community, you want them to continue to wear masks when they’re interacting with groups from multiple households.

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