Vaccines protect individuals from infection, and the risks of continuing COVID-19 restrictions outweigh the benefits. That’s what Florida’s surgeon general said Thursday in a public health advisory.
What You Need To Know
- Florida surgeon general says vaccinated people should not be told to wear masks
- Government offices should resume in-person services
- Non-residents will be eligible to get vaccinated in Florida
“Continuing COVID-19 restrictions on individuals, with no end in sight, including long-term use of face coverings and withdrawal from social and recreational gatherings, pose a risk of adverse and unintended consequences,” Dr. Scott Rivkees wrote.
The advisory from Florida’s top doctor goes further than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which on Tuesday expanded its list of safe, mask-free activities.
As part of its revised rules, the CDC still recommends that vaccinated people avoid or wear a mask for large or crowded outdoor gatherings. The agency also recommends that everyone continue to wear a mask indoors, such as when at a restaurant, a hair salon, a movie theater or an indoor gathering of multiple households.
Despite the CDC recommendations, Rivkees said, due to the widespread availability of vaccines, fully-vaccinated people should no longer be advised to wear masks or avoid crowds. Government officers should also be conducting in-person operations to “better serve Floridians,” he said.
Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees speaks at a news conference on March 2, 2020 (AP/Chris O'Meara)
The surgeon general also stated that Florida residency will no longer be a requirement for vaccination in the state. He said any person currently in Florida who meets FDA guidelines will be eligible to get vaccinated “to ensure no COVID-19 vaccines are wasted.”
You can read the entire advisory here: