ORLANDO, Fla. — As coronavirus continues its worldwide spread, fears about it and the impact are spreading around the U.S.
- Four people in Florida being monitored for coronavirus
- Central Florida seeing impacts from fears and concerns
- More coronavirus news
Officials in Florida now saying that while no cases have been reported — they are monitoring four people who may have been exposed in China and have exhibited possible symptoms.
Central Florida is also seeing impacts from those fears and concerns.
The Global Pet Expo had fewer exhibitors than normal when it wrapped up Friday at the Orange County Convention Center.
Many of the them had notified organizers coming from China that they’d be unable to attend, along with others who had visited China recently and unable to enter the U.S. due to travel restrictions.
Vice President Mike Pence visited Florida on Friday saying 15 cases have been reported across the U.S. Forty six Americans returning to the states have gone through quarantine.
Governor Ron DeSantis said with the continued spread of the virus and four people being monitored in the Sunshine State, they want to have more local control over testing.
“I think the folks, talking to folks in Florida, they have some concerns about, I told the Vice President, the testing. We’ve been able to manage it, everything goes to the CDC and back, but the extent that this becomes more of a problem, we want to be able to do local testing and I know they’re working on that," Governor DeSantis said.
Both Vice President and Governor DeSantis have credited the Trump administration's quick action enacting travel restrictions in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
Economists say if this escalates, it could have a devastating impact to the tourism industry in Florida but said with the swine flu and the Zika virus, that economic dip never materialized.
"You know, a number of these potential pandemics that caused a lot of hype, drove a lot of news cycles, but at the end of the day, really had very little economic impact and I suspect that the coronavirus will be the next on the list," Sean Smith, Director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting and College of Business at UCF, said.
However, officials are still urging caution.
With the state's economy so dependent on tourism, the governor is also recommending hotels and restaurants reconsider policies on unpaid sick time to help workers and ensure the disease isn't able to spread.