Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on Sunday repeatedly offered advice to Americans who ignored coronavirus safety guidelines on Thanksgiving.
His message: It’s not too late to act. Get tested. Isolate.
[See also: Everything you need to know about getting tested]
Adams used his opening statement on “Fox News Sunday” to thank the “millions of people [who] did the right thing” by keeping their holiday celebrations smaller during the pandemic.
And for those who didn’t, he continued: “We want you to know it’s not too late to take measures to slow the spread of this virus. You can still isolate. You can still get tested in three to five days. You can still take measures that have been proven to help us prevent cases, hospitalizations and deaths.”
He returned to that advice again and again during the Fox interview.
“If you have been in a gathering of more than 10 people without your mask on over the last several days, please, get tested in the next three to five days,” he said.
“We need you to think about what you did over the holidays,” he added later. “If you traveled, if you were in a gathering with a mask off with people outside of your household, you can take steps now to prevent you being an asymptomatic spreader and turning into community spread. Still a chance.”
His comments come amid a bleak news cycle in the pandemic as cases and hospitalizations strain the medical infrastructure across the U.S, including in rural areas and other regions far from the coastal hotspots of last spring. Most states have set weekly case records in November, and many of them have set weekly death records. The U.S. has now recorded almost 270,000 coronavirus deaths, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s foremost infectious disease expert, said Sunday that Americans should be ready for a “surge upon a surge” in the coming weeks. Fauci and other U.S. government experts pointed to the winter holidays.
[See also: “Fauci warns of ‘stunning number of deaths’ from coronavirus”]
“There almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We are deeply worried about what could happen post-Thanksgiving,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Adams had a similar message, while also offering optimism about coronavirus vaccine candidates. But he said there are steps people can take now to “bridge us to a vaccine” with as few deaths as possible. Those steps include wearing masks and getting tested.
“I want to be straight with the American people: It’s going to get worse over the next several weeks,” he said. “But the actions we take in the next several days will determine how bad it is.”
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