(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — As more areas in the U.S. become new COVID-19 hotspots, Dr. Deborah Birx issued a dire warning to those who wish to vacation in such areas.
Birx, who is the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House task force, appeared on CNN on Sunday and said that those who travel or vacation in the country’s COVID-19 hotspots to “assume you’re infected.”
Overall, the doctor expressed that people need to not only abide by social distancing guidelines, but undergo the recommended two week quarantine upon returning home in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
“I think it’s our job, as public health officials, to be able to get a message to each American that says if you have chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot, you really need to come back and protect those with comorbidities and assume you’re infected,” Birx cautioned.
Birx also said that the conditions created by the virus continue to change, saying the pandemic “is different from March and April” because “It is extraordinarily widespread … it’s both rural and urban.”
She also extended her words of caution to those who live in multigenerational households, saying that “, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you’re positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities.”
As of late Sunday, COVID-19 has infected nearly 4.7 million Americans and killed over 154,800, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remains the worst-affected nation by the virus with Brazil being the second-worst impacted nation with over 2.7 million positive cases and almost 94,000 deaths.