Florida Surgeon General: Masks Out, Gatherings In For Vaccinated People
Dr. Scott Rivkees' rescinds previous advisories on COVID-19, including expansion of vaccine access to certain nonresidents and the return of in-person services for government offices.
Florida’s surgeon general on Thursday recommended the end of mask wearing for fully vaccinated people in an COVID-19 advisory that also expands vaccine access to certain nonresidents.
Dr. Scott Rivkees’ advisory:
- Recommends that fully vaccinated people no longer be advised to wear masks or avoid social and recreational gatherings except in limited circumstances.
- Allows vaccine access to non-residents in Florida providing goods or services for the benefit of residents and visitors.
- Instructs government offices to resume conducting in-person operations.
Among the factors Rivkees considered:
- Nearly nine million individuals have been vaccinated in Florida and scientific studies show that the vaccines protect individuals from COVID-19, and dramatically diminish hospitalizations and deaths caused by the virus.
- Continuing COVID-19 restrictions on individuals with no end in sight, including the long-term use of face coverings and withdrawal from social and recreational gatherings, pose a risk of adverse and unintended consequences.
- Florida has a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines to provide an opportunity for every eligible Floridian who wants to be vaccinated.
The advisory comes a few days after the CDC issued new guidelines on mask wearing outdoors.
The CDC now says people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask when they're outdoors, unless they're in a crowd, such as attending a live performance, sporting event or parade.
The CDC considers people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.