Is it Safe to Travel to FLORIDA Right Now During Covid in 2021? – September Update

Florida-safe-to-visit

Not for the time being. Florida is currently reporting the highest number of adults and children hospitalized for Covid-19. The majority of the patients have not been vaccinated. The good news is, though, that the number of hospitalized patients has dropped by 13% in the past two weeks.

As of Monday, August 23, nine Central Florida intensive care units reported that they had reached full capacity, while at least two of those were operating over their capacity.

With around 335 fatalities daily, the COVID-19 death toll in Florida is now higher than at any other point in 2020.

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Florida

September 6 – Florida tourism continues to bloom despite high number of COVID-19 cases

Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases, tourism in Southwest Florida continues to rise. Actually, Lee and Collier Counties have had a record-breaking year in tourism.

Brian Hamman, Lee County commissioner, indicated that August 2021 numbers had been the best August numbers in the history of tourism tracking in the region. Other months have not been behind either. ‘In fact every month this year has been better than it was even in 2019.’ he said.

Usually, tourism tends to slow down by the end of summer in Florida. This year, the season is not over yet. Hotels there are still fully occupied, and they are starting to get booked for winter, too.

According to Hamman, people want to enjoy a bit of time off. But are scared of the international travel restrictions. Therefore, they choose somewhere they know, like Florida, for example.

Source: WINK News

August 24 – Pediatric cases make up to 20% of new COVID-19 infections in Orange County, Fla.

According to Alvina Chu, an epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, pediatric cases make up to 20% of new coronavirus infections in the county.

The trend seems to be shifting. While the positivity rate in the 25 to 44 age group remains high, children aged between 5 to 14 years old now contribute the most to the newest COVID-19 cases.

Based on data from HHS.gov, as of Monday, August 22, there were 257 pediatric cases across Florida, 176 of which were hospitalized.

The predominant strain is the highly contagious Delta variant which affects all age groups. The median is 34 years.

Source: WKMG News

Vaccination progress in Florida 

As of September 3, 13,806,568 Floridians have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 53.58% of Florida’s population have been fully vaccinated.

Current COVID statistics in Florida

Florida has reported 3,308,916 positive COVID-19 cases and 46,324 deaths caused by the virus.

COVID-19 hotspots in Florida

Most affected counties in Florida

Is it safe to travel to Miami now?

It is certainly impacted by the new spread, but local government is taking measures as announced by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Thursday, August 5. 

As of now, all Miami-Dade County employees are required to present a COVID-19 test weekly or a vaccine certificate.

“This policy that we are announcing today will help ensure we are doing our part to maintain a safe, healthy workplace,” Levine Cava said, “and that county employees are doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID across this community.” Miami Herald

Is it safe to travel to Orlando now?

According to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings – the county where Orlando is located – the area is experiencing a “crisis mode” as the hospitals are about to collapse with critically ill patients. 

According to the latest data (September 6), Orange County has more than 1,000 new cases per day, while the positivity rate for Covid-19 tests has dropped to 13.4%.

Why visit Florida in COVID times?

First and foremost – Florida has no entry restrictions!

Florida is an internationally recognized destination due to its Theme Parks and tropical weather. Travelers who love going to theme parks will never go wrong with Florida. In COVID times, when traveling has to some extent become a hustle, especially for people traveling with kids, Florida stands as one of the best destinations to look into in 2021.

Only the fact that American citizens and residents do not need a passport and don’t have to deal with international (sometimes inconsistent or unknown) airport rules and restrictions, makes this destination a good choice to escape to in spring 2021.  

Florida’s Health Care System and Response Capacity

Florida’s Health Care System

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive, worldwide disruption. In addition to the millions infected and the hundreds of thousands killed, the virus has disrupted economies across the globe.

According to local media, Florida may be hiding the real pandemic situation. “At this point, it’s endangering people,” says Ryan Panchadsaram, former data official in the Obama administration. “We’re now in the third wave, and I think our only way out is really open, transparent and actionable information.”

Florida has no travel restrictions in place as of today. However, The Florida Department of Health -recommends- wearing face masks if social distancing is not possible and avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people. 

These are recommendations, though. You will not be fined if you do not comply with them. 


UPDATES ARCHIVES

August 9 – Hospitalizations skyrocketing in Florida as DeSantis defend unvaccinated citizens

The number of current COVID hospitalizations is “unlike anything the state has seen before,” said the head of Florida’s largest hospital association earlier today. 

Even in the face of irrefutable evidence, Gov. Ron DeSantis will maintain his “no-mandate” mandate which means that zero coordinated actions will be taken to control the spread. 

He also added that the media is just being “judgmental,” against those who are unvaccinated. 

However, DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw recognized that only 6% of hospitalized people are vaccinated. 

“We recognize that cases and hospitalizations have shifted to a younger demographic because we have been so successful with vaccinating seniors,” said Pushaw.

Source: MSNBC News

July 15 – COVID-19 cases in Florida on the rise while Gov. DeSaints forbids companies to safely resume activities

The Department of Health of Florida has reported an unusual increase in COVID-19 activity over the last week.

Over the last 7 days, the state counted 23,747 new cases with a positivity rate of 7.8%. The trend was at about 4% positivity in the past weeks. Also, Florida reported 172 new deaths. 

Even considering the figures, Gov. Rob DeSantis continues to refuse to allow companies to require customers of “risky activities” to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As reported by The Washing Post, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has sued Florida’s surgeon general, accusing the state of preventing the company from “safely and soundly” restarting operations.

Source: AP

June 29 – Florida to resume cruise ships with both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers next week

Cruise ships are set to safely resume operations next week in Florida. 

Local mayors of South Florida had sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to reconsider his refusal to ask cruise travelers to present a vaccine certificate, but their claim was not heard. 

“There aren’t restrictions either way, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated that shouldn’t limit your ability to participate,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told reporters. 

This does not mean cruises won’t be safe. Unvaccinated travelers will need to bring a negative COVID-19 test, get retested in the embarkation hall prior to boarding. Furthermore, some cruise venues will be “for vaccinated people only.” 

(Source: Local10Florida)

June 14 – Florida to lift all COVID-19 related restrictions on July 1

Effective July 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis will lift all COVID-19-related restrictions across the state. So far, only 48.8% of the population has received at least one jab of a vaccine, which is insufficient to reach herd immunity according to the CDC.

According to the governor, “If we have widespread vaccinations that are over 99% effective, what’s the evidence basis for somebody to wear a mask now?” 

Over the course of the pandemic, he has refused to follow most of the epidemiology guidelines because he did not want to “take the same approach as other lockdown governors.”

With this new executive order, DeSantis will make sure that “local governments cannot arbitrarily close [our] schools or businesses.” Additionally, he barred businesses from requiring employees to provide proof of being vaccinated.

Source: Florida Political review