White House coronavirus response task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx is warning that the Northeast is experiencing 'troubling signs' of a 'very different' style of coronavirus spread as temperatures drop in the region.
Birx said Thursday that fall's cooler weather in the region has led to coronavirus spreading faster within families and social groups, than in schools and workplaces where people are following precautions.
'What we’re seeing in the community is much more spread occurring in households and in social occasions, small gatherings where people have come inside, taken off their mask to eat or drink or socialize with one another,' Birx said Thursday at a roundtable discussion at the University of Connecticut in Hartford, Connecticut.
White House coronavirus response task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx is warning the Northeast is experiencing 'troubling signs' of a 'very different' style of coronavirus spread
It's a similar type of spread pattern that was seen in Southern states over the summer, when people flocked to air-conditioned, indoor areas to escape heat and humidity, she said, according to ABC News.
She added that she has seen people rationalizing that it's okay to remove their face masks or not follow social distancing rules because the people they're with appear healthy - but pointed out that people can be infected and asymptomatic.
Birx noted that the new increase in coronavirus cases in Connecticut 'is really a message' to the state that 'the kind of spread that we’re seeing now is very different from the spread we experienced in March and April.'
She added that 'What we did in the spring is not going to work in the fall.'
Beginning in March, many northeastern states were quick to order residents to shelter at home and shut down non-essential businesses, as a way of trying to curb the spread of coronavirus when death tolls and infection rates were skyrocketing.
It wasn't until May that many of the same states began slowly reopening in stages, while also mandating the wearing of face masks, social distancing and other precautionary measures meant to help prevent the virus' spread.
Birx said that as cooler weather comes, coronavirus is spreading faster within families and social groups, as they remove masks while eating and drinking with each other indoors (file)
Rising cases of new coronavirus cases have led local and state officials to tighten