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CDC recommends Floridians still wear masks inside

Face Mask
FILE – A man leaves a convenience store while wearing a required face mask. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

The CDC’s new recommendations on When to Wear a Mask or Respirator
Layered prevention strategies — like staying up to date on vaccines and wearing masks — can help prevent severe illness and reduce the potential for strain on the healthcare system. Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.

Know the COVID-19 Community Level where you live
COVID-19 Community Levels are a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data.

As the latest COVID-19 wave of infections in Florida subsides, the CDC still recommends that the majority of Floridians live in places where indoor masking should be required because of the disease’s strain on hospitals.

Here’s Governor Ron DeSantis’ mask policy.

Florida logged at least 25,390 new infections in the past week, state health officials reported Friday, the lowest seven-day sum since Dec. 17.

The state also recorded 888 new fatalities this past week, the first time since Jan. 21 when the seven-day statewide death toll increase was less than 1,000.

About 70% of Americans live in counties the CDC classifies as places where COVID-19 is placing a “Low” or “Medium” level of strain on health care systems, so there is no need to require mask-wearing indoors and in schools, the federal agency says.

The same is true for just 44% of Floridians. Just 25 of Florida’s 67 counties — including Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade — are in the “Low” or “Medium” categories, which emphasize COVID hospitalizations more than case counts.

Low

Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk

Medium

If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness
Talk to your healthcare provider about additional precautions, such as wearing masks or respirators indoors in public
If you live with or have social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness, consider testing yourself for infection before you get together and wearing a mask when indoors with them.

High

Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings)
If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness
Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection