Nation sees confusion over masking as Florida reports 2,791 new COVID-19 cases

‘Reasonable and understandable’ that some are maintaining mask requirements, Fauci says

Nation sees confusion over masking as Florida reports 2,791 new COVID-19 cases
Nation sees confusion over masking as Florida reports 2,791 new COVID-19 cases

ORLANDO, Fla. – Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance last week allowing fully vaccinated people to ditch their masks in most situations, there has been some confusion across the country as some businesses and municipalities have maintained their masking and social distancing rules.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert acknowledged part of the flaw with the CDC guidelines in an interview with ABC News.

“The problem and the issue is that we don’t have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and who’s not vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

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He added it is “reasonable and understandable” that some businesses and localities are maintaining mask requirements because they can’t be sure of an individual’s vaccination history. But he says it’s important to note those measures protect the unvaccinated from each other, and vaccines provide a high level of protection for those who have gotten them.

In Central Florida, people appear largely comfortable with the new CDC guidelines.

“Well I’m fully vaccinated, so I feel pretty safe,” Seminole County resident Mark Younger told News 6.

“I feel really good, I’m looking forward to the future. It’s been a tough year,” said Tina Rose as she entered a store in Lake County.

While Florida has eased virtually all of its COVID-19 orders and restrictions, other states still maintain strict COVID-19 protocols.

A Clermont couple is currently being forced to quarantine in Hawaii because they got the wrong type of COVID-19 test before arriving there on their honeymoon.

Alayne and Milton Thompson landed in Honolulu this past weekend. They brought their negative COVID-19 test results with them, as Hawaii has some of the strictest COVID-19 requirements in the U.S. for travelers. They even took along their cards showing both had been fully vaccinated.

When the Thompsons landed in Honolulu, they were ordered to go directly to the quarantine section of a beachfront hotel — but not in the beachfront rooms they’d paid for — for the rest of their trip.

“It’s like being in prison,” Alayne said. “And this trip, the anniversary, which was supposed to be our honeymoon that we never got because of COVID, supposed to be this wonderful week, and it just turned into a disaster. I couldn’t sleep, we’re hungry, we don’t even know to who to call to get food delivered at this point.”

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Orlando prepares to help renters hurt by pandemic as Florida reports 1,989 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 18.


The Florida Department of Health reported 2,791 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,296,785 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 97 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 36,954. This number included the 727 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 2,344 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 2020, 93,388 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 240 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Tuesday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 4.56% Monday out of 61,238 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 7,651,576 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 Monday, 9,671,213 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 Tuesday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

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