Dr. Anthony Fauci warned people to avoid attending large New Year’s Eve parties where they don’t know if all the guests have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“When you are talking about a New Year’s Eve party, where you have 30, 40, 50 people celebrating, you do not know the status of the vaccination — I would recommend strongly, stay away from that this year,” Fauci told CNN’s New Day on Monday. “There will be other years to do that, but not this year.”
But Fauci — the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — said that people who are vaccinated and boosted can gather with close family with minimal risk if their loved ones are also vaccinated and boosted.
The US is seeing new COVID-19 cases in record-shattering numbers this month as the Omicron variant takes hold. More than 176,000 new cases are being reported per day on average, with case numbers continuing to climb, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Public health officials have urged Americans to get vaccinated amid this latest COVID-19 wave. Disease experts like Fauci have said that while Omicron appears more prone to cause breakthrough infections, vaccines still provide protection against severe disease resulting in hospitalization or death.