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Fauci says when live shows will be back — depending on vaccine rollout

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Fauci says when live shows will be back — depending on vaccine rollout 1

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci says the reopening of live theater and music venues “will occur sometime in late fall of 2021” — if the COVID-19 vaccine rollout can get rolling.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made the announcement during a virtual panel discussion held Saturday by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.

He said, “early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.”

However, the relaunch depends on one big “if” — ironing out the ongoing kinks in national vaccine distribution.

Dr. Fauci also revealed that “Hamilton” was the last “magnifcent” show he saw live — and warned the conference crowd that live audiences can expect to continue wearing masks for the immediate future, and that venues should probably consider requiring audience members to show proof of negative coronavirus test results.

He also encouraged venue owners to examine ventilation systems and make appropriate improvements to air flow, and advised that an effective level of herd immunity would mean that 70 to 85% of the population had received vaccines.

Back in September, Dr. Fauci warned theater lovers that it could be more than a year before they could safely return to Broadway houses.

“I think it’s going to be a combination of a vaccine that has been around for almost a year and good public-health measures,” he said at the time. “If we get a really good vaccine and just about everybody gets vaccinated, you’ll have a degree of immunity in the general community that I think you can walk into a theater without a mask and feel like it’s comfortable that you aren’t going to be at risk,” Fauci said.

Meanwhile, last week Dr. Fauci said it’s likely that the highly contagious new strain of COVID-19 is already more widespread throughout the country than currently known.

He would be “very surprised” if the new variant that first emerged in the UK hasn’t already reached “several more states,” he said. “I think it’s pretty clear that if it’s in places like California, and New York and Colorado … that pretty soon it’s going to be in several more states.”

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