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Dr. Birx urges Mainers not to let guards down in fight against COVID-19 during visit to state

Dr. Deborah Birx stressed the importance of testing and wearing masks..
Dr. Birx urges Mainers not to let guards down in fight against COVID-19 during visit to...
Dr. Birx urges Mainers not to let guards down in fight against COVID-19 during visit to Southern Maine
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 8:00 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 8:13 PM EDT
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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) -Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, urged Mainers not to let their guards down in the fight against COVID-19.

“Now is the moment to re-engage in our personal protection of each other,” Birx said.

During her visit to Southern Maine Community College on Tuesday, Birx noted the important role that college students play, and the role proactive testing can have in detected infections in the community.

“They could really help us really see that early asymptomatic silent spread,” Birx said.

Her stop in Maine was part of a nationwide tour where she is stressing the importance of wearing face masks and public policies that support it.

“It allows retail establishments to enforce the masking policy. It allows us to constantly be reminded,” Birx said.

She wanted Mainers not to get complacent with the state’s low positivity rate and number of cases, pointing to states like Montana and the Dakotas that have seen increases in cases.

“If you looked five weeks ago, they would look very much like the Northeast,” Birx said.

As the colder months arrive, Birx said now is not the time to become complacent, especially when spending time with family and friends.

“People are cautious in public. Where they are getting fatigued and letting down their guard is in private, and that is the message we need to increase,” Birx said.

While looking ahead to the holidays, she recommended small gatherings with precautions in place.

“How do we protect those inside of the house? How do we wear masks in the house and really physically distance?” Birx said.

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