Future of masks uncertain as health experts warn of 4th COVID-19 wave


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The highly contagious delta variant is causing a surge of new coronavirus cases in Florida and across the country.

Now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may revise its COVID-19 guidelines to recommend that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public.

Some medical experts are calling this the fourth wave of COVID-19 and say those who haven’t been vaccinated have no time to waste.

8 on your side’s Christine McLarty went to the Health Department in Tampa Monday morning to learn more.

According to the State Dept. of Health, Florida is seeing the highest spike in COVID-19 cases since January as the contagious delta variant sweeps through the self. Florida, Texas and Arkansas account for 40% of the new cases.

According to recent data, only 49% of the country is fully vaccinated. Those without the shots make up 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths.

“Going into the fall with the delta variant, we could have a really serious problem with a considerable surge of infections,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director.

Dr. Fauci said the CDC is reconsidering its stance on masks and may soon recommend them for fully vaccinated people inside public places. The CDC had eased its mask guidelines in May.

Linda Mercer said she should have gotten vaccinated sooner. Now fighting for her life, the grandmother has this message for others.

“I’m admitting my wrongs by not getting vaccinated it really changes your outlook on life when you feel like I might be called home,” Mercer said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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