By Andrea Alvarez

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) – The Department of Justice appealed a ruling Wednesday by a Florida Federal judge which struck down masks mandates for travelers, despite advice by the CDC. The decision is causing confusion among people across Tampa Bay.

“We’re not out of the woods yet. I have a young child that has asthma and a mother who is immunocompromised. Wearing a mask, to me, is the best thing I can do right now and not just be stuck at home all the time.”

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The decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised to keep the mandate to protect public health. The CDC also claims the policy was “Well within CDC’s legal authority” to help curb the spread of the virus.

“We see so many visitors and so people may be coming from places where there’s higher levels of community spread,” she said.

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Tampa Bay resident Nicole Sutton says community confusion is stemming from back-to-back contradictory rulings.

“Overall, it is confusing for people. I definitely read up on what’s going on, but yes. There might be something that’s put out and then you try to understand what that means to where you are in that moment. You know, ‘does this affect me’ or ‘does it only affect if I’m on a plane?’,” she said. But with an appeal now in motion, she says resilience is what’s needed as developments are expected in the coming weeks.

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“A pandemic is a changing circumstance. It requires people to be flexible,” said Sutton. “It’s about people’s health. The greater good and if we can stay focused on that, I think that that’s where we all win.”