Dr. Fauci recommends face masks at Thanksgiving gatherings — even in small groups

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 in September.(Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 in September.(Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

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Dr. Anthony Fauci is recommending masks at Thanksgiving gatherings if the coronavirus status of people is unknown.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert told “CBS This Morning” that “even if it’s a very small group, to the extent possible, keep the mask on.”

Fauci says if families have either quarantined or been tested for the coronavirus, it’s not as necessary. But he says it’s wise to take precautions.

“There is community spread right now,” he said. “(People) don’t have symptoms, they don’t know they are infected. So, we need to pull more testing into the community.”

The U.S. set a single-day record of more than 160,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday.

“If you do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down,” Fauci said. “You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile.”

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