On 10 Tampa Bay, we’re committed to keeping you up to date with all the latest COVID-19 news.
That’s why every week we are taking your questions to a local medical expert to talk about what’s going on. From the latest on where Tampa Bay stands with vaccines, to monitoring the COVID-19 variants, we’ll continue tracking information.
Dr. Michael Teng, Ph.D., is a virologist at USF Health.
Here are some of the questions we asked this week:
Q: TSA has extended the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks, which was set to expire this month, through September 13th. Do you see it extending even further?
A: “The mask mandate will end when we get low transmission levels or we have a high vaccination rate. Neither of those are happening right now. There's still significant transmission, we still have under 50 percent of the adult population vaccinated.”
Q: What can’t I do once I’m fully vaccinated?
A: “Vaccination is a part of the puzzle to try and prevent transmission, so this is, again, all about risks and benefits. So, the riskier the situation, the less you should want to do it. Risky means in close contact, without a mask, when you don’t know whether they’re vaccinated. Anytime you’re in a large group with people without masks, this is something to avoid.”
Q: Many parents have been working from home, but as they transition back into their office buildings and are relying on childcare, how do they safely bring an outsider into the home?
A: “One of the easier ways is to ask if that person's been vaccinated or insist on that person being vaccinated if you're going to actually come to the house. If it's a problem to ask them if they're vaccinated, then it's still going to have to be masking and good sanitation because you're bringing in an unknown into your house, which is an enclosed environment and prolonged period of time for childcare."
You can send your questions to 727-577-8522 and we might answer them on 10 Tampa Bay Brightside.