Tampa professor thinks Florida could hit 2 million coronavirus cases by new year

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – From Raymond James Stadium to Tampa International Airport, people are getting COVID-19 tests after the busy holiday weekend.

8 On Your Side caught up with Lindsie Herring, headed to Dallas Monday.

“I’m not too worried about it. I feel like I’ve been pretty safe,” she said. “The people I’ve been around have been safe. I’m honestly not too worried.”

Herring may not be worried, but Dr. Tom Unnasch of USF Health fears things in Florida may get worse in the coming weeks — pointing to Thanksgiving.

“And with this sort of thing where people traveled around a lot, they visited with family probably around a dinner table where they weren’t wearing masks, you have a chance where they’re gonna be exposing a whole lot more people than they would if they were just staying home,” Unnash told 8 On Your Side.

Unnasch said community spread will become a problem in the coming days, when others unknowingly transmit the virus into the community.

As Florida nears a million COVID-19 cases, the professor thinks things could get a whole lot worse.

“I think it’s taken us a long time to hit one million, but if we do see an increase in these holidays, and just where we are right now, the rate where we’re going, we may see 2 million by the turn of the year, 2021,” Unnasch said.

Keith Adcox of Treasure Island has traveled for work regularly since April.

He said he plays it safe every single time he hits the airport.

“I wear a mask everywhere I go. Through airports, restaurants, everywhere like that,” he explained.

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