With Florida being top Labor Day destination, local health experts worry about potential spike in COVID cases

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Between game days and beach stays, people across the Sunshine State took advantage of the last official weekend of summer.

A recent study by Value Penguin names Florida as the top destination for Labor Day weekend.

“It was always, even before COVID, everybody planned to come down here, so everywhere you go it’s a lot of people,” said Daniel Coimbra.

Coimbra and his family came out to Ben T Davis Beach early Monday morning to beat the crowds.

“We got here around 8:30 a.m. and it was just my car and one more. That’s about it. Now, you see more people and it’s time to go,” he said.

The influx of people rushing to Florida does draw some concerns amongst people in the medical field.

“When you see people crowded together in tight confines, you know there’s going to be an increase in cases,” said Dr. John Greene with the Moffitt Cancer Center.

Greene said they will not know the impact of the Labor Day crowds immediately.

“If there’s an increase from this holiday, you will find it in a couple weeks,” he said.

He told 8 On Your Side they do brace for holidays like this one.

“Now in the past, there have been major holidays in our area that have not led to an uptick in cases but in other areas it has. So whether that pans out or not, we’re more than prepared,” he said.

Florida is still experiencing the worst surge of cases since the pandemic started. Many experts believe this could be the last spike if vaccinations continue to rise.

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