TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - Following new guidance from the CDC, the Surgeon General of Florida has walked back mask advice saying that fully vaccinated Floridians don’t need to wear a mask in public settings or avoid large gatherings. Many doctors here on the Suncoast say that even though there are mixed messages out there, people should still follow the CDC guidelines.
“The CDC is saying there are a few exceptions where you still have to wear a mask” said Dr. Manuel Gordillo with Sarasota Memorial Hospital. “This would be if you are in a large gathering and there’s no possibility of proper distancing.”
Citing the steps taken to vaccinate a large percentage of the state’s population and a significant decrease in hospitalizations, Surgeon General Scott Rivkees released new medical advice being the Florida Department of Health. The new guidance is loosening medical advisories established at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March last year. One professor ABC7 talked with says not so fast.
“Most people now have been vaccinated, so I feel comfortable sharing my bubble with them,” says Dr. Jay Wolfson, a Professor of Public Health at USF. “I feel comfortable walking and jogging and bicycling outside, but I approach a large group of people in a public area and I’m going to be close to them, it’s wise to wear a mask.”
Rivkees also added that government offices should be able to resume in person operations. In Sarasota County health officials are urging people to continue to be proactive.
“Here in Sarasota County, we are seeing above five percent virus activity,” said Steve Huard, a spokesperson for the Sarasota County Department of Health. “So we encourage people to continue to wear a mask and to continue social distancing.”
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