Fauci: Country should be in ‘good shape’ to reopen schools in the fall

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday that he thinks the country will be in “good shape” for reopening schools by the start of next school year in the fall.

“Bottom line is, no absolute prediction, but I think we’re going to be in good shape,” Fauci said at a White House news briefing when asked whether he thinks schools will be able to start on time next school year.

Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, noted there is much uncertainty around the situation but said that by fall enough time is likely to have passed to allow schools to reopen.

Schools across the country are currently shut down as part of the efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

Fauci said he expects that “by the time we get to the fall … we will have this under control enough that it certainly will not be the way it is now, where people are shutting schools.”

He noted, though, that some measures will need to be in place to prevent a major resurgence of the virus.

“It’s going to be different, remember now, because this is not going to disappear,” he said.

He pointed to more targeted approaches the country can start to use once the worst has passed, such as widespread testing that could identify infected individuals who should self-isolate.

He also added that by then a new antibody test that can determine whether people have been infected already and are now immune should be widespread, which could help make decisions.

“All of these things are going to go into the decision of just how much back to the original way” the situation will go, he said.

He noted that his daughter is a schoolteacher and that she had asked him the same question. 

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