ORLANDO, Fla. – Following the updated mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, theme parks and stores here in Central Florida have also provided an update to or are reevaluating its policies.
The CDC said Thursday 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.”
Many people have questions and concerns about the guidance, so News 6 went to the medical experts to answer a few. Both of the experts said they believe these loosened guidelines could be the federal government’s way of encouraging people to get the vaccine.
Theme parks have been updating its policies, including Disney World and Universal Orlando.
Disney officials announced masks would be optional for guests in outdoor common areas while masks will continue to be required in indoor locations, throughout attractions and more. Universal Orlando is no longer requiring guests to wear face masks when outdoors on theme park property.
“The health and safety of our guests and team members is always our top priority. Based on guidance from local government and health officials, effective Saturday, May 15, face coverings for guests are no longer mandatory when outdoors at Universal Orlando,” the theme park said in a news release.
And stores, such as Walmart, Publix and Winn-Dixie, have updated policies for customers who have been fully vaccinated as well. Click here for a look at mask guidelines across stores and theme parks.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 3,571 new COVID-19 cases as CDC updates mask guidance]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 15.
The Florida Department of Health reported 3,288 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,289,522 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 57 new virus-related deaths Saturday, bringing the death toll to 36,776. This number included the 720 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Saturday afternoon, there were currently 2,497 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March 2020, 93,056 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 163 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Saturday.
The percent of positive results was 4.41% Friday out of 74,487 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 7,498,801 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 Saturday, 9,538,110 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 Saturday.
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