Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases doctor, says Broadway could possibly be shining its bright lights again by early next fall.
Fauci, in an interview with WNBC Tuesday evening, said if people get vaccinated in the spring as the vaccine becomes available to the general public, New Yorkers and the entire country could get back to normal by the end of summer or beginning of fall 2021.
“I think that will be completely dependent on the uptake of vaccines by the people of the country and specifically the people of New York,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the outlet.
“Since New York has many tourists, it probably is going to be the entire country.”
Fauci indicated that a return to normalcy would mean 75 or 85 percent of people would need to get vaccinated, and said those with underlying conditions are a high priority.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be first in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is expected to be distributed in mid-to-late December.
Fauci also suggested there should be a concrete plan when it comes to protecting kids in school.
“The fact is we should do whatever we possibly can, as having a default position that the children either go back to school or stay in school,” he said. “We know that the degree of transmissibility among children is considerably less than what we had anticipated to be.”
“The best way to safeguard children and to keep them in school is to decrease the level of community spread at the community level,” the doctor added.
On Sunday, Mayor de Blasio said the city’s public elementary schools will return to in-person learning on Dec. 7. Middle and high school students will continue remote learning. The mayor shut the public schools on Nov. 19 after the city’s positivity rate hit 3 percent for seven consecutive days.
As for another lockdown in the tristate, Fauci said it was “difficult to predict,” but stressed that people need to understand there’s an ongoing surge in coronavirus cases.
NYC Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi warned Tuesday that the most vulnerable, including their household members and caregivers, should stay home and wear masks at all times.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed with the recommendation saying it wasn’t a “restriction” but rather useful guidance.
“There is no restriction on people over 70 leaving their home,” Cuomo said. “New York City offered guidance, advice, which is the same advice and guidance that we have been issuing and they have been issuing and every expert has been issuing since this started.”