Less restrictive CDC guidelines may come out soon as cases fall nationwide and locally

NOW: Less restrictive CDC guidelines may come out soon as cases fall nationwide and locally

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control just updated their outdoor masking policy on Tuesday, April 27, but the President’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, believes more relaxed COVID-19 guidelines by the CDC are on the way soon because of falling case numbers.

A decrease in cases can be seen not only seen nationwide but also in Milwaukee County. With vaccinations, doctors are optimistic of the future, but have seen bad results when restrictions get relaxed too quickly.

“If we go down (in cases) much, much more, which I believe we will as we get more people vaccinated, then sooner rather than later you'll see more liberalization of the guidelines,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

While Dr. Fauci didn’t say exactly when, he did say the U.S. seven-day average has gone from 60,000 cases a day to now 30,000 to 40,000. He says as that number lowers, CDC guidelines will become less restrictive.

“You might see little creep-ups in the percent of people that can do something in an indoor space,” said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health.

“Expansion of opportunities I think would probably be more for vaccinated people,” says Dr. Ben Weston, associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and medical director at Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.

Dr. Ben Weston says Milwaukee County is also seeing a reduction in its seven-day average, from having 150 new cases a day on April 16, to 124 cases a day on April 29.

“We do continue to see gradually improving trends,” adds Dr. Weston.

With nearly 43-percent of the state having at least one dose, and a decrease in cases, are we safe from another surge?

Everything would point towards being able to ride this out, but you know COVID has pulled 180s on people before,” Dr. Pothof said.

Doctors say while it’s crucial to be vigilant, some believe the CDC is moving at a good pace.

“I like this approach where it’s slow and steady and hopefully we can continue on that trend of reduced restrictions and not have to go back to piling some on,” says Dr. Pothof.

Dr. Fauci says people need to understand that CDC guidelines are simply recommendations. While they’re not binding, people should be aware of their risks when doing activities.

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