Florida should remain vigilant for coronavirus, could threaten Florida economy

by | Feb 25, 2020

While relatively few cases have been reported in the United States so far, Floridians should still be mindful of COVID-19, the viral strain knowns more commonly as coronavirus. Aside from obvious health concerns, the virus also has the potential to damage Florida’s economy, according to Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish.

As the disease runs its course, companies are cutting their GDP forecasts, and as 30-year mortgages hit an 8 year low, manufacturers will likely idle down their factories because of supply chain issues. Parrish believes this will have an effect on Florida’s economy. 

 “An inversion of the yield curve has been a reliable, but not perfect signal, of a future recession. This is one of the metrics that goes into the calculation of the probability of a Florida recession which is on TheFloridaScorecard.org,” said Parrish. “The probability of Florida being in a recession over the next nine months has now increased to 24.1 percent.” 

Florida’s most vulnerable industries that will be effected include international visitors, cruise passengers, imports/exports and manufacturing jobs.

The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed the 13th case of the latest strain of coronavirus in the United States, but the outbreak has so far missed Florida. The Florida Department of Health reported early this month that the state has no confirmed cases of the virus that has killed more than 1,000 people in China.

There are several U.S. airports investigating all people who have been in contact with those who test positive with the virus or those who have traveled outside of the U.S. 

Florida’s Orlando International Airport is not one of them. It does not have any direct flights to China, however travelers from the area of the outbreak could still come through the airport.

The latest person in the United States diagnosed with the virus was under a federal quarantine order after recently returning from Wuhan, China. The city is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak that has been ongoing since December, according to the CDC.

The first infection in the United States was reported in January, and the first person-to-person transmission was reported later that same month, according to the CDC.

Florida health officials have thus far not released details about Florida residents currently under investigation for the disease, even as U.S. Senator Rick Scott has called for more transparency.

The former governor led the state during the Zikka virus outbreak in 2016. His office issued a press release last week which included a letter to President Donald Trump in which Scott wrote, “One of the most effective strategies utilized was being extremely transparent with new and accurate information.”


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