A national lockdown of businesses and schools is a “measure of last resort,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general tapped to help lead Biden’s Covid-19 advisory group, told “Fox News Sunday.” Murthy noted that any measures at this stage of the pandemic would look different from the sweeping closures that states enacted in the spring to suppress the virus.
“In the spring we didn’t know a lot about Covid; we responded, in a sense, with an on-off switch. We just shut things down because we didn’t know exactly how this was spreading and where it was spreading, but we learned a lot more since then,” he said.
However, gyms, bars and restaurants will likely need tougher restrictions if an outbreak is out of control since they’re at higher risk of spreading the virus, said Dr. Andrew Pavia, a pediatric infectious diseases chief at the University of Utah Health. Mask mandates should also have some “teeth” to them, such as allowing businesses to turn away customers if they’re not wearing them, he said.
“When you have a really out-of-control outbreak — as we do in many, many states — you need to ramp up the degree of control that you use,” Pavia said during a Nov. 11 media briefing by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “And you only have to look at the countries that have done a really good job to get a sense of how you can do it without resorting to terms like lockdown, a term I never want to see used again.”