NEW YORK — The nation recorded over 12 million COVID-19 cases Monday, and the number of cases continues to surge.
New York is at a 3.08% positivity rate, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy just signed an executive order extending the public health emergency.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield weighed in on what the COVID-19 vaccine entails, the growing cases and holiday travel, urging the American public to reconsider traveling.
The real threat for infection is the small household gathering and coming together with people who do not live with you, according to Dr. Redfield.
For those who do travel, Dr. Redfield reminded everyone to wear masks and social distance.
"Masks do work," he said.
When asked about lockdowns, Dr. Redfield said he does not think lockdowns are necessary, but it's important to be strategic in using restrictions — including when it comes to schools.
Dr. Redfield said decisions on school closures are made by each individual jurisdiction, but decisions should be made "based on data, not emotion."
In his personal opinion, Redfield said the "best and safest" public health thing is to keep schools open and he does not see the necessity to close schools based on the prevalence of positive testing, adding that some schools have safely stayed open in "red zones."
It is unclear how long Redfield will be the CDC's director, as the position is appointed by the president and President-elect Joe Biden takes office in less than two months.
“This has been a great honor to serve as the CDC director. I know I was a little saddened to think I may be stepping down when the epidemic was just getting worse and worse,” Redfield said.