Local doctors are concerned about a new spike in COVID-19 cases following holiday travel

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Thousands of people from across the country came to our beaches this holiday weekend . 

Now local doctors are concerned about a potential spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Executive Director Parker Mcclellan said around 8000 people passed through the airport on Monday alone. 

“People from all over the midwest and as far west as California and Arizona so we have a whole variety of people coming to our community,” Mcclellan said.

While airport officials are pleased with the holiday weekend results, the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic is still looming.

“We are still following that with the daily spraying and sanitizing the wiping down of high touch areas and the requiring of masks continues,” Mcclellan said.

He said the federal mask requirement will be in place in the airport through January 18, 2022. 

Although air travel is good for the local economy, some doctors like Dr. Roman Nation MD, a family medicine physician in Panama City, said he fears that when travelers could be spreading the COVID-19 virus.

“The biggest concern that I would have as somebody from our area is people traveling when they’re sick,” Nation said. 

Doctor Nation said the last major spike happened after the Fourth of July.

He said people refrain from getting tested so they don’t miss out on the fun. 

“Travel advisories and stuff like that would expect at least something of a spike here from this last weekend,” Nation said. “I’m hoping it’s not nearly as bad as the one we had in July.”

But Dr. Nation said the Delta variant has changed some of the most common ways of detecting the virus. With the original strain of the virus, the incubation period was about five to seven days. With the Delta variant it is shorter. 

“Delta, which replicates more than 1000 times faster than the previous one, only takes about three to four days for it to manifest itself and have symptoms,” Nation said.

He also said loss of taste and smell is not as common with the Delta variant. 

Dr. Nation said the rest of the symptoms are similar to the flu with a cold, body aches, fevers, chills and more. 

Dr. Nation recommends getting vaccinated for both COVID and the flu to protect yourself and others.

“It’s not all about which political side of the aisle you’re on, we’re really trying to save lives,” Nation said. 

He said it’s everyone’s personal choice but if you want to get a shot they are available.

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Health officials concerned holiday travel could cause spike in COVID-19 cases


Health officials are concerned Labor Day travel could cause another spike in COVID-19 cases, especially among the unvaccinated population.

This comes as the start of the school year has brought an uptick in cases among children who are not vaccinated.

Dr. Nancy Tofil, the Director of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care at the UAB & Children’s of Alabama said the Delta variant is hitting the unvaccinated population hard.

“Most are either unvaccinated or under the age of 12 and unable to get vaccinated,” Tofil said. “The numbers have been three or four times what we were seeing last winter at its peak.”

The CDC is warning people who are traveling to take caution during the holiday and has a warning to the unvaccinated population.

“If you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

According to the CDC, the U.S. has averaged over 150,000 cases a day for the past week. This is an increase of nearly 5% compared to the previous week.

CDC COVID-19 Daily Case Data – Sept. 6, 2021

The Missouri State Dashboard reports the state averaging over 1,500 cases a day for the past seven days of data available. This data set is from Aug. 27 – Sept. 2.

The state has seen 38 COVID-19 deaths during this time period.

The State Vaccine Dashboard has seen an uptick in vaccine orders within the past month. The most recent Aug. 30 vaccine order was for 65,900 vaccines. The order was up over 40 thousand vaccines from the July 26 order of 20,560 vaccines.

According the the dashboard, 52.2% of Missourians have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. Nearly 40% of kids between the ages of 12-17 have gotten vaccinated and 63.3% of adults are vaccinated.

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Metro doctor says July Fourth travel may be contributor to spike in COVID-19 cases – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — Like many metro Atlanta hospitals, the COVID-19 patients being treating at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center are the unvaccinated.

The hospital system’s medical director, Dr. Danny Branstetter, told Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge that some of those people likely got COVID-19 over the Fourth of July celebrations.

Regina Wells said she is fully vaccinated but still very nervous about the recent rise in coronavirus cases.

“I’m just really concerned as to where we’re heading for because this thing is serious. It’s really real and to be honest, it’s scary,” Wells said.

Branstetter believes more people traveling and gathering during the July 4 holiday week happened as fewer people were masking and the delta variant which is highly transmissible started spreading.


“Looking at the rise in cases and the timing this is pretty much related to July Fourth activities, so we’ve really seen it really 10 days post July 4 activity weekend, so mid-July we started noting this uptick,” Branstetter said. “Certainly, travel and mobility impacted the spread of the disease also activates we typically associate with holiday celebrations. Fireworks displays, large gatherings, etc. but also, we have relaxing … mask mandates as well as usage.”

Branstetter said with the delta variant, they are seeing younger people who aren’t vaccinated getting COVID.

He believes people will listen to changing mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We know the right things to do. Still stick to doing those. Right now, we’re seeing another surge and it is good for everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated, to be mindful,” Branstetter said.

With breakthrough cases, Branstetter says testing is still very important.


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July 4 spike lingering due to Delta variant and travel | News, Sports, Jobs

The state Department of Health reported 243 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest single-day total since early January. Health officials said the post-holiday spike is due to the Delta variant and an increase in travel to the Mainland. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

Health officials said the Delta variant and an increase in residents traveling to the Mainland are driving an ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases, as Hawaii reported 243 confirmed and probable cases on Thursday, the highest single-day case count since early January.

The numbers are not all from Fourth of July celebrations, which caused an uptick last year but went away quickly, said Kauai District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

But this year, high case counts after the holiday are lingering due to the highly transmissible Delta variant and other factors, she said.

“This year after the Fourth of July, what we are seeing is a rapid and exponential rise and it is showing no signs of diminishing. It is continuing to increase,” Berreman said.

Increased travel by residents who bring home the virus from the Mainland is also a factor, she said.

As cases spike statewide, Maui Memorial Medical Center has also seen an increase in COVID-19 patients, with 15 in the hospital as of Thursday morning. Beginning Monday, only vaccinated visitors will be allowed entry to the hospital.

Of the 243 cases reported Thursday, Oahu had 146 cases, Hawaii island had 50, Maui had 14, Kauai had eight and 25 Hawaii residents were diagnosed out of state.

Even though the state Department of Health only began including probable cases in its daily counts in May, the 230 confirmed cases on Thursday are still high compared to what Hawaii has been seeing in recent months as vaccinations rose.

As of Thursday, Maui County had the second-lowest test positivity rate in the state, at 2.6 percent over the past two weeks. Kauai County had a 2.4 percent test positivity rate, while Honolulu County was at 4.3 percent and Hawaii County had the highest rate at 5.3 percent.

Honolulu County also had the highest number of Delta samples detected to date with 61, followed by Hawaii County with 31, Maui with nine and Kauai with seven, according to this week’s variant report, which reflects specimens that have undergone genome sequencing to identify variants.

Even though Maui County has lower test positivity rates and Delta variant counts, Dr. Edward Desmond, state Laboratories Division administrator, said that “I would expect (Delta variant cases) to increase” in the county, spurring more positive cases overall.

Stressing the need for everyone to be vaccinated, DOH spokesman Brooks Baehr said that of Thursday’s 243 cases, 66 were among those 18 and younger.

“Unfortunately we are seeing that unvaccinated adults are still infecting children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated,” he added.

“What we are seeing here is widespread community transmission around the state,” he said. “Overwhelmingly the number of new cases we are seeing are among unvaccinated people. And they are unvaccinated people who are not wearing masks indoors, they are unvaccinated people who are traveling, about 20 percent of cases we have seen this month involve unvaccinated people connected to travel.”

“Much of what is happening now can be prevented if people get themselves vaccinated,” Baehr said, adding that vaccines are safe, effective and free.

He asked that people wear masks indoors, stay home if not feeling well, avoid large crowds and gatherings and avoid travel if not vaccinated.

Of the three deaths reported Thursday, however, one included an Oahu woman in her 60s who had been fully vaccinated. Baehr said that the woman was hospitalized and had multiple underlying conditions.

Among the 527 COVID-related deaths reported in Hawaii so far, two people had been fully vaccinated, Baehr added.

Maui Memorial Medical Center is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 patients along with the rest of the state and the country, hospital spokeswoman Tracy Dallarda said.

As of Thursday morning, the hospital had 15 COVID patients, with two in the Intensive Care Unit, one on a ventilator.

“We have not received confirmation from DOH, but suspect the COVID variants are involved,” Dallarda said.

She encouraged people to get vaccinated and said the hospital’s main lobby vaccine clinic remains open from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Walk-ins are welcome.

The hospital has also updated its visitor policy with general visiting hours from noon to 6 p.m. daily and a limit of one visitor per day for each patient.

Also, beginning Monday, only vaccinated visitors will be allowed entry to the hospital, Dallarda said. Visitors must show proof of their vaccination status by bringing either their CDC vaccine card or a printout of their VAMS vaccine certificate along with state-issued identification. There are exceptions to this policy for pediatrics, obstetrics and other special circumstances. For more information, visit mauihealth.org/covidvaccine.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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The pandemic traffic death spike hit Black Americans hardest – Greater Greater Washington

A ghost bike commemorating the death of a cyclist in DC. Image by Mr.TinDC licensed under Creative Commons.

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Nicole Cacozza is a native Washingtonian, former ANC Commissioner, and current Adams Morgan resident. She’s a fan of DC sports, open streets, and all weather biking.

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Southwest, American Suspend Alcohol Sales Following Spike in Unruly Passenger Reports

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U.S. prepares for domestic air travel spike this summer

WASHINGTON D.C.: Though the U.S. government has not determined whether to allow foreign tourists into the United States this summer, U.S. airlines and regulatory agencies are being prepared to handle increased domestic air travel.

News of these projections drove shares of American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines sharply higher this week after airline executives said that leisure travel was increasing.

“We’ve been very, very pleased with the pace of demand recovery,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein told an industry conference. “Bookings have been better than expected.”

Also, the Transportation Security Administration anticipates hiring another 1,000 officers by July 4, a peak U.S. travel period, bringing to 4,000 officers hired since January 1.

“We have already seen a sharp rise at the nation’s airports and will continue to experience steady increases throughout the summer,” Acting TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye said.

In another indication of an ongoing recovery, the TSA screened 1.86 million passengers on Sunday, the highest daily total since March 2020.

United has since announced it expects to reduce its projected losses for the third quarter.

Additionally, American Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said he is seeing “encouraging signs” in business and international travel.

The United States, however, continues to prohibit the entry of nearly all non-U.S. citizens from most of Europe, South Africa, India, China, Iran, and Brazil.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a press conference that the government is “following the facts, the data, the science in making the decision as to when business, international travel actually can resume… This is something we are evaluating each and every day.”

Industry insiders have said that the Biden administration might allow tourists from the United Kingdom and Ireland into the United States as soon as early June.

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US Prepares for Summer Air Travel Spike, May Allow More Foreign Visitors | Voice of America

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – U.S. airlines and agencies are preparing for increased domestic air travel this summer even as the government continues to debate whether to allow more foreign travelers to visit.

Shares in American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines were sharply higher on Tuesday after top executives said that the pace of a leisure travel recovery was increasing.

“We’ve been very, very pleased with the pace of demand recovery,” Delta President Glen Hauenstein told an industry conference. “Bookings have been better than expected.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks about aviation security ahead of the summer travel season during a news conference at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, May 25, 2021, in Arlington, Va.

As more Americans pass through airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to hire another 1,000 officers by July 4, a peak U.S. travel period, after hiring 3,000 officers since Jan 1.

“We have already seen a sharp rise at the nation’s airports and will continue to experience steady increases throughout the summer,” Acting TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye told a news conference at Reagan National Airport outside Washington.

The TSA screened 1.86 million passengers on Sunday, the highest daily total since March 2020.

United said it now expects its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be positive in the third quarter and trimmed its forecast for a decline in unit revenue in the current quarter.

And American is seeing “encouraging signs” in business and international travel, which have been hit hard during the pandemic, Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr said.

The improvements come as more American become vaccinated, companies prepare for workers to return to offices and travel, and as more countries open their borders.

However, the United States continues to bar the entry of nearly all non-U.S. citizens from most of Europe, South Africa, India, China, Iran and Brazil, despite pressure from travel groups to lift restrictions.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at the press conference the government is “following the facts, the data, the science in making the decision as to when business, international travel actually can resume… This is something we are evaluating each and every day.”

The administration has held extensive meetings on the topic, officials have told Reuters, but made no decisions.

Industry officials think Biden could lift restriction on the United Kingdom and Ireland as soon as early June. COVID-19 cases in both countries have declined.

Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, told Reuters “the UK is the furthest along. Our belief is, if we can open UK, the rest follows.”

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Hotel industry leaders hoping for spike in summer travel – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather


If you’ve set foot in side the Outrigger Resort in Waikiki, you’ll notice social distancing, touchless elements and plexiglass at check-in, and enhanced cleaning in rooms. Along with masks in common areas, Hawaii has been setting an example when it comes

Wednesday, May 5th 2021, 6:10 PM HST by Tom George

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