TAMPA, Fla. — Rise and shine! We're halfway through the workweek.
Masks not mandatory 😷
Leaders in Pinellas County announced Tuesday they were rescinding certain COVID-19 safety protocols required at businesses – including the local face-covering requirements.
Pinellas County leaders said the order requiring safety plans for large events was also rescinded.
Also on Tuesday, Pinellas County Schools announced its intention to rescind the school board policy mandating face coverings on campus. The plan is to remove that requirement at 5 p.m. on June 9, after students leave on the last day of class in the 2020-2021 school year.
The moves came one day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending all local emergency orders that were put in place earlier in the pandemic.
Pinellas County leaders say private businesses and organizations can still require face-coverings or have other COVID-19 safety protocols in place, as they see fit.
A mom's perspective
Having a baby during a pandemic gave new moms and doctors challenges they’ve never dealt with before. Safety measures put in place left many feeling isolated and helpless.
Last year we spoke to Nicole Arbiso, who went into labor in March just as COVID-19 restrictions were put into place. Her mom and sister flew into town to be in the room with Nicole and her husband Cory, but doctors said no.
With strict coronavirus guidelines in place, Nicole and Cory brought their newborn home to quarantine. It was not the maternity leave Nicole imagined.
There were times when Nicole said she felt isolated. She was able to work through those feelings by getting outside for walks or by FaceTiming family and friends.
Now, one year later, she says things are much better.
But that isn't always the case for new moms and finding resources during the pandemic can be hard. Moms who are struggling postpartum can find free options for help in the Tampa Bay area listed here.
So, you're fully vaccinated, now what?
Every week we take your COVID-19 questions to Dr. Michael Teng, Ph.D., a virologist at USF Health.
One question was, "What can't I do once I'm fully vaccinated?"
Dr. Teng says getting vaccinated is just one piece of the puzzle to try and prevent transmission. He says risky situations, like crowded places with no masks on, are something to avoid. That's even if you are vaccinated.
If you have questions for Dr. Teng, you can always text them to us at 727-577-8522.