The nation's top infectious disease expert says it's "conceivable" that parents will be able to send their kids to camps and playgrounds this summer, even without a COVID-19 vaccine.
In an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation," Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the current pace of vaccinations, the rate of COVID-19 infections per day will likely reach a "much lower level."
"If we get into the summer and you have a considerable percentage of the- of the population vaccinated and the level in the community gets below that plateau that's worrying me and my colleagues in public health, it is conceivable that you would have a good degree of flexibility during the summer, even with the children, with things like camps," Fauci said. "We don't know that for sure, but I think that's an aspirational goal that we should go for."
Fauci has previously said elementary-aged children will likely not get vaccinated until early 2022.
Fauci stressed that children can still get infected and should continue wearing masks when interacting with groups from multiple households.
"If the adults are vaccinated and you're in the home with your child, you don't need to wear a mask and you can have physical contact," Fauci said.
Ahead of summer break, this past week the American Academy of Pediatrics released updated safety guidance for summer camps.
AAP said there is little evidence to show transmission of the virus among children and staff when safety protocols, including wearing masks, practicing distance and cleaning surfaces, are followed. The professional organization of pediatricians adds that increased availability of testing will help more camps open this summer.
“We know children benefit greatly from spending time with other children, engaging in outdoor activities, playing, sharpening their mental skills, and finding creative outlets,” Dr. Sara Bode, guidance author and member of the AAP Council on School Health, said in a press release. “The pandemic shut down much of that important socialization and activity, and parents likely are eager to send their children to summer camp so they can begin to regain some normalcy. When camps closely follow safety protocols, this can be a safe option.”