Duval County

New CDC mask guidelines set to impact Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — About 70% of Americans are not required to wear masks indoors anymore.

The CDC changed its mask guidelines today to recommend 70% of America can safely go inside without wearing a mask.

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“So, I’m happy to see this because we are making decisions for our population-based on what we are seeing in terms of severe disease,” says Dr. Mo Reza.

Dr. Reza is an infectious disease specialist who has pushed for safe COVID-19 practices, including mask use, for nearly two years. He is in favor of the new guidance.

“I still say for those who are immunocompromised, this… you should really wanna talk to your doctor or someone that you trust and talk to them,” Reza says.

The guidelines will change policies for many businesses, but some tell us they still want to be careful.

One business owner says her bookstore is one of those locations.

“Our biggest concern really is the health and safety of our staff and all of our customers. You know, we are in a small community, so we care about each other.”

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Rona Brinlee owns the BookMark, which has required masks since June 2020, from employees and customers.

According to the CDC, requiring masks is still a good idea, but that 70% does not include Duval County.

“We are going to keep up the measures for now,” Brinlee says.

According to the CDC’s COVID-19 tracker, Duval County still has a high rate of community transmission.

Surrounding counties such as Clay, St. Johns, Nassau — every county in northeast Florida, except Putnam — is in the red. but Dr. Reza says he’s still a fan of the changing regulations because the numbers are falling so rapidly.

“It kind of is right now but likely in the next one to two weeks it will be lower,” he said.