Escambia County, a beach community on the north end of the "Sunshine State's" Gulf Coast, reopened its short-term vacation houses this week for renters. The county cited rampant unemployment and heavy financial losses as its justification. The county commissioner says house owners and managers are following CDC recommendations and guidelines.
Escambia County homeowners began accepting reservations this past Monday. Their policy precludes visitors from U.S. states that the Florida governor deems coronavirus "hot spots." The gubernatorial designation follows CDC data. Escambia County allows residents from states boasting less than 700 cases per 100,000 people to make reservations. The county denies international visitors altogether.
Unfortunately for Louisianans, our state is considered currently a hot spot. The disease rate is 747.5 cases per 100,000 residents. In other words, no one from here can vacation at this particular Florida beach in the immediate future.
The vacation houses follow CDC rules for best practices and sanitation. Guest check-ins, for example, happen remotely to cut down on on-in person interactions. The CDC has specific recommendations for hand sanitation, personal protection equipment, etc. Social distancing rules apply on beaches as much as anywhere else; people still need to keep six feet apart.
On the bright side for locals wanting to head to Florida, Escambia County says their rules are subject to change in the next 30 to 45 days.