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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

'Citizens of Waco that are older need to mask up' | Dr. Deborah Birx visits Baylor

Dr. Birx is one of the most recognizable faces in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

WACO, Texas — White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited Baylor University Monday. Her visit follows other stops at universities across the country. During the visit, Dr. Birx met with administration, faculty, students and the medical team.

"The key success in Baylor and the universities that we have seen is they spent the summer planning," Dr. Birx said. 

Dr. Birx said the universities that opened and stay open are laying out a path for others to be able to open in the spring. 

"Part of our reasons for these visits is to really put together a playbook of what different universities are doing to really care for their students, care for their communities and ensure that these institutions of higher education and learning continue to be able to move forward," Dr. Birx said. 

She not only addressed Baylor's response but discussed its relationship with the surrounding area. She noted that the community has a higher positivity rate compared to the university. 

"The citizens of Waco that are older need to mask up. There is a lot of people out there that are not wearing masks, that are not physically distancing," Dr. Birx said. 

Dr. Birx mentioned working with Baylor and the community to surge testing in the area. 

"We want to ensure that we can both test in the community and really ensure that we are reaching those most in need in the community," Dr. Birx said. 

She also mentioned that students have brought up isolation as a concern. 

Dr. Birx said they asked SEC schools to help figure it out for the other schools. She said the University of Arizona, along with other SEC schools, will work with the CDC to test students while in quarantine to define that period.

"That interval of 14 days was defined in a very small number of individuals and in older individuals," Dr. Birx said. "We have the capacity now to really study it closely and figure out precisely what that number is."

She said hopefully in two weeks they will be to figure out that number. Dr. Birks said the data would be good for that age group and the age group beneath. 

"It's absolutely critical because what if it's only ten days or what if it's eight days," Dr. Birx said.

Watch the entire news conference below:

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