There’s no doubt this is an update Visit St. Pete/Clearwater hoped it wouldn’t have to send alas here we are…

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising across the country, including Florida. And the effects are being seen here in Pinellas County.

This is because the Delta variant is much more contagious than previous strains and is proving to be as contagious as Chickenpox. According to an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, the Delta variant is more likely to break through protections afforded by vaccines and may cause more severe disease than all other known versions of the virus. Infections in vaccinated Americans are rare, but when they occur, vaccinated people may be able to spread the virus.

New CDC mask guidelines are based on new research showing how fully vaccinated people can carry large loads of the Delta variant. The CDC recommends that all people, vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks indoors, in areas with high-transmission (Pinellas County and Florida) and with young children, aging parents or friends/family with weak immune systems.

On top of that, the latest traveler sentiment research from Destination Analysts shows significant changes in how American travelers are feeling about the current coronavirus situation, which is negatively impacting perceptions around travel and excitement for traveling right now.

Because of all this, we wanted to provide information and tips that can help businesses communicate what you’re doing during this time to keep your guests as safe as possible.

  • Are you requiring employees and guests to wear masks?
    • Research shows most people acknowledge this as a positive precaution that will encourage them to frequent a business or travel.
    • Travelers are still mandated to wear a mask in airports and on airplanes.
    • Are you providing free masks to the public at the entrance of your business in case someone forgets one?
  • Are you requiring your employees to be vaccinated?
    • The list of corporations requiring their employees to get vaccinated is growing and you could require the same. Businesses on the list includes Walmart and Walt Disney World.
    • Here’s a list of locations locally where people can get vaccinated, including The Dali Museum where those who get vaccinated receive a shopping tote.
    • Have you reminded your employees that the vaccine is free and readily available? Here is complete information (where to get it, FAQs, etc.) on the vaccine from Pinellas County.
    • Would you be interested in hosting a vaccination event at your business for your employees and surrounding businesses? If so please email [email protected].
    • Here is a local vaccine flyer with complete information that can be posted in a place of employment or given to employees.
  • Are you requiring your employees to be tested regularly?
    • Regular testing can be a way to ensure your employees are not spreading coronavirus.
    • Free testing is readily available throughout Pinellas County, including at CVS and Walgreens, among others.
    • While the vaccines are excellent at protecting us from the virus, it is still possible to get infected with mild or no symptoms, or even to get very sick. A “breakthrough” case is when a fully vaccinated person gets infected with the coronavirus.
  • Additional resources:

Here are other COVID-19 related updates.


CITY OF ST. PETE DEVELOPS NEW NON-PROFIT, SMALL BUSINESS INCENTIVE PACKAGE

In response to the drastic change in the business environment stemming from the pandemic, the City of St. Pete has developed a new non-profit and small business incentive package in support of the sustained success of St. Pete’s health, local economy and cultural landscape called St. Pete Small Business Resilience + Retention Incentive Package. Four programs make up the package with grants starting at $2,500 up to $25,000. Learn more here.


UNITED KINGDOM OPENS TO FULLY VACCINATED AMERICANS

Starting August 2, fully vaccinated Americans are allowed to enter England, Scotland and Northern Ireland quarantine-free. In response, U.S. Travel is pushing U.S. government leaders to establish a plan and timeline for reopening as U.S. borders remain closed.


EUROPEAN UNION PASSES 70 PERCENT VACCINE MARK

The E.U. announced it has surpassed its goal of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to 70 percent of adults, matching the current 70 percent rate of the United States.


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