ORLANDO, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance for masks Thursday, saying fully vaccinated people can stop wearing face covering outdoors in crowds and in most indoor cases.
The director of the CDC encouraged those who are fully vaccinated that they may “start doing the thing that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”
According to the Associated Press, the updated guidance says masks should still be worn in crowded indoor spaces, such as planes or hospitals. President Joe Biden addressed the update, calling it a “great day for America” and urging those who have not yet been vaccinated to continue wearing their masks.
“We’ve gotten this far — please protect yourself until you get to the finish line,” Biden said.
The president of the Florida Education Association called this a turning point for schools as parents have been pushing for school boards to get rid of mask requirements.
“The professionals are telling us we should continue with masks until people are vaccinated and that should be the focus right now,” president Andrew Spar said.
Disney World also responded to the latest CDC guidance, calling it “extremely positive news” and it would “implement updated guidelines across our businesses” as soon as it is practical. The parks also plan to reduce social distancing requirements in select areas through a “gradual, phased approach.”
And in light of evolving guidance, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order that would pardon Florida residents or businesses charged with violating local COVID-19 safety procedures, including social distancing or mask requirements. The clemency board will meet in the coming weeks to review and pardon any Floridian with outstanding infractions.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: As Florida rolls out Pfizer doses to children 12 and up, state reports 4,053 new COVID-19 cases]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 14.
The Florida Department of Health reported 3,571 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,286,203 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 71 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 36,719. This number included the 719 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 2,610 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March 2020, 92,893 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 151 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.
The percent of positive results was 4.15% Thursday out of 86,036 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
FDOH reports 7,415,135 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.
As of Friday, 9,481,581 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Friday.
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