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Tampa Bay Doctors React To New CDC Guidelines

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - On Tuesday, the CDC issued new guidelines about mask-wearing and what activities are safe for people who are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Local Tampa Bay doctors say it's a step in the right direction, but they are also urging people who are not vaccinated to still be very careful.

Tim Unnasch, USF Public Health Professor, says "I think it's a conservative decision that is backing up a lot of what the scientific data we've been seeing out there."

Aimee Charbeneau, a Tampa Bay resident, says "We went right out, as soon as our two weeks were over, we went to a restaurant, for the first time in a year."

It's one thing many scientists and people all over the world are excited for: progress.

USF Virologist, Dr. Michael Teng, says "It's about time. I think the data has been pretty convincing for a while that people are not only protected against infection, but they are less likely to transmit after having the vaccine."

The CDC announced Tuesday that people who are vaccinated are now allowed to participate in most outdoor activities without masks, unless it's a crowded event like a concert or sports event.

"They really didn't change any recommendations at all for people who are not vaccinated," said Unnasch.

Dr. Teng says he hopes the new guidance will encourage people to get the vaccine. "Well, if I get vaccinated, it's pretty easy. I can get out there without any worries. Get out there without a mask."

Charbeneau, who was recently vaccinated, agrees, adding "I think it might help if people see these are all of the things you can do if you have a vaccine."

Unnasch says there is a concern that people who are unvaccinated may ease up on precautions as well.

"'Oh nobody else is wearing a mask, I can get away with not wearing a mask as well, even though I'm not vaccinated,' which is unfortunately not true," said Unnasch.

Unnasch says people still need to be careful, but he thinks more positive changes are coming in the near future.

"We can really start to get our lives back and I expect the CDC, other announcements from the CDC in the next couple weeks or couple of months," said Unnasch.

The CDC states when going to an event or gathering, consider how many people will be there and the location before participating.

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