Southwest Florida prepares for potential coronavirus outbreak

Published: Updated:
This photo taken on February 19, 2020 shows laboratory technicians testing samples of virus at a laboratory in Hengyang in China’s central Henan province. The death toll from the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic jumped to 2,112 in China on February 20 after 108 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

The message from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the coronavirus COVID-19 is coming and you need to have a plan now. Now, many are now wondering if Southwest Florida is prepared.

Kim Evans was looking forward to her mother-daughter cruise coming up in the next couple of weeks.

“My daughter is a sophomore in high school and I feel like I only have a short period of time where I get her all to myself,” Evans said.

But with the news surrounding the spread of the coronavirus in Asia, she is not sure if she wants to get on a boat, even if it is to the Caribbean and Mexico, areas that are not affected right now.

“All it takes is that one person and the idea of being stuck at sea for two weeks or however long it could be is just a little daunting to me,” Evans said, “and I just don’t want her to get sick.”

While Evans booked travel insurance, she will not be able to get her money back from canceling the trip.

Mark Friedlander, who works at the Insurance Information Institute, said in cases like hers, paying extra money for a “cancel for any reason policy” is your best bet; but even that has fine print.

“Some travel insurance policies have a clause when a worldwide epidemic is issued,” Friedlander said, “you may have a problem canceling the plan.”

As for Evans, she is still trying to decide what is best for her family.

“My daughter really wants to go,” Evans said. “I’m hesitant. I don’t want to lose the money but really right now, I’m 50/50.”

‘I heard it was a bio-weapon in a lab’

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.