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Fauci predicts mask recommendations could come back if US sees 'significant uptick' in COVID-19 cases

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FILE-Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he would be "extremely surprised" to see a federal mask mandate. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) Dr.

Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he believes recommendations to mask up could make a return this fall and winter, should the U.S.

see a spike in cases of COVID-19. Fauci, the former White House chief medical advisor, appeared on ABC's "This Week" to discuss a recent rise in COVID cases and potential precautions heading into the colder months. "I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used under certain circumstances in indoor crowded settings," Fauci said, adding that he does not foresee any federal mandates. "I would be extremely surprised if we would see that," he said, referring to a mandate. "There may be local organizations that may require masks, but I think what we're going to see mostly are, if the cases go up, that there might be recommendations, not mandates.

There's a big difference there." COVID-19, FLU AND RSV VACCINES ARE ALL AVAILABLE THIS FALL: SEE WHAT SOME DOCTORS RECOMMEND AND WHY Fauci said that the current rise in cases has resulted in a spike of "17 or more percent in hospitalizations," adding that the number will increase going into the fall and winter months.

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