About the Coronavirus Pandemic (As of July 31, 2021)

We continue to monitor the coronavirus situation for current Florida-specific information and adjust our activities accordingly.

Limited Indoor Activities Resumed

With the advent of proven highly effective vaccinations, we resumed occasional indoor activities with reduced social distancing and minimal face mask use.

However, we stress that these activities, particularly large events, are intended for members and their guests with full vaccinations.  Adults and children who are not fully vaccinated or have health risks are strongly advised not to attend indoor events. The CDC regards these types of indoor activities as least safe for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.  A study shows that the chances of being infected with the coronavirus can be up to 19 times higher indoors than outdoors.

At this time, Florida significantly leads the nation in cases.  Therefore, we may have to curtail indoor activities, particularly dining or drinking when face masks must be removed.

We offer other activities more suitable for at-risk or unvaccinated members and their guests.

Virtual Activities

We continue to host virtual activities and video conferencing to exchange Tesla and club-related information. These events are a lot of fun and involve sharing Tesla experiences and information in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

I remain in communication with Tesla Corporate and local Tesla leaders. We continue to work with Tesla to host Virtual events. 

These Virtual Meetups are open to club members only. If you are not a member and would like to join us for virtual activities, please click on the Join Us link above.

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities are the safest in-person events.  Unvaccinated or at-risk attendees are advised to wear face masks and maintain adequate social distancing. 

In-Car Activities

Likewise, in-Car activities are very safe and popular as well. These activities involve meeting for parades, scenic drives, race track events, etc. Participants remain in their cars during most of the events. 

Status of Coronavirus in Florida (Graphs as of July 31, 2021)

In earlier status reports, we relied on the state of Florida’s online dashboard and daily public reports to follow the current developments regarding the pandemic.  However, on June 4, 2021, The Florida Department of Health ceased to update its online COVID-19 dashboard and suspended public daily reporting of cases, deaths, tests, and vaccines administered, substituting a condensed weekly report.

Florida Stops Publishing Daily COVID-19 Numbers.

Florida still reports some of the data to the CDC even though the daily data is not available to the public. This CDC data is used to produce the graphs displayed below.

Vaccinations and Herd Immunity

As of July 31, 2021, 57% of Floridians of all ages had one dose of vaccine and 49% were fully vaccinated. 

Estimates based on measles and other diseases suggest that herd immunity occurs when 70%-80% of the population is vaccinated. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor, has said that the usual definition of “herd immunity” doesn’t apply to the Covid pandemic.

At this time it’s not clear if or when the U.S. will achieve herd immunity.

Herd immunity and COVID-19 (coronavirus): What you need to know

Florida is the epicenter of the U.S. Coronavirus outbreak

Despite 49% of Floridians being fully vaccinated, on July 31, 2021, Florida reported 21,683 new coronavirus cases, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic. The data shows that Florida is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak and is responsible for 1 in 5 new infections nationally.

State health officials have indicated that hospitals are struggling to keep up with the number of COVID-19 patients. The Florida Hospital Association said hospitalizations were approaching last year’s peak when there were no vaccinations. The state leads the nation in hospitalizations.

Governor signs order withholding state funds from schools with mask mandates

Florida’s surge comes as Governor DeSantis issued an Executive Order 21-175  on July 30, 2021. It announced that parents will be given the choice of whether their children follow mask rules in school this fall. The order is a challenge to the CDC’s federal guidance and decisions by local school districts to implement mandatory masks requirements in the face of the unpresented outbreak. It gives the commissioner of education full authority to keep schools in line, including taking away state funding from school systems that violate the order. 

Despite 49% of Floridians being fully vaccinated, on July 31, 2021, Florida reported 21,683 new coronavirus cases, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

Despite 49% of Floridians being fully vaccinated, on July 31, 2021, Florida reported 21,683 new coronavirus cases, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic.

The graph above shows daily death in Florida since the beginning of the pandemic through July 31, 2021. The trend in daily deaths was downward during June, but there was an alarming rebound in July that is forecast to continue trending upward in the coming months.

The graph above shows daily tests in Florida since the beginning of the pandemic through July 31, 2021.

All state-run testing sites in Florida closed at the end of May

The graph above shows the 7 day average percent Positivity since the beginning of the pandemic through July 31, 2021. During July 2021 the Positivity Rate grew exponentially surpassing the peak experienced last July when there were no vaccines. This infection rate is the highest in the country. 

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Model for Florida

The IHME model makes multiple projections based on several different scenarios with varying assumptions.

Note: This month these estimates may be unduly optimistic. 

This month these projections forecast a reduction after peaking around August 31st. They may be unduly optimistic because they assume that governments will re-impose social distancing mandates whenever daily deaths reach 8 per million (about 170 daily deaths.)  However, the governor's series of executive orders preempting local governments from instituting social distancing, mask mandates and vaccination certifications, makes this assumption unrealistic.

Daily Deaths (As of July 31, 2021.)

Current projection (What the modelers think will most likely happen)

This scenario is forecasting a peak of 148 daily deaths on August 31, 2021.   

Worst case 

This scenario is forecasting a peak of 174 daily deaths on September 3, 2021.

This projection forecasting a reduction after August 31st is unduly optimistic because it assumes that governments will re-impose social distancing mandates whenever daily deaths reach 8 per million.  However, the governor's executive orders preempting local governments from instituting social distancing and mask mandates makes this assumption unrealistic.

Below is the current (July 31, 2021) IHME model displaying actual and projected deaths per day.  

The daily death projections are showing a significant upward trend in deaths for the Current and Worse Case scenarios peaking around August 31st. However, the reduction after the peak is in question because the model unrealistically  assumes that the government will re-impose restrictions after deaths reach 8 per million. 

Below are the various forecast models that the CDC monitors (These forecasts are based on actual data as of July 19, 2021.)

The CDC monitors many qualifying forecast models in tracking the likely outcomes concerning the coronavirus. We have all seen NOAA’s “spaghetti” hurricane models that are distilled into a central tendency line. Likewise, the CDC is monitoring about 32 models projecting coronavirus outcomes. The CDC compiles these individual models into an Ensemble line that shows the best overall probabilistic accuracy.  Above on the left the CDC has plotted all 32 models four weeks into the future. The IHME model is the orange line.  On the right the Ensemble line is the red line in the middle. 

So, what does this all mean?

Our club's future in-person social engagement will be guided by the best science available to us. We will continue to monitor actual data.  We will also be using computer models to assist in planning the timing of our upcoming face-to-face events. Based on actual historical data and the current  projections, we will adjust our in-person activities accordingly.

Current data shows serious deterioration in the Florida Positivity rate, with infections proliferating rapidly. The IHME model is likewise forecasts a significant increase in daily deaths in the next few months. It is vital to note that studies show that those deaths will be almost exclusively among unvaccinated individuals.  

If you or your family members are eligible for the vaccines and haven't taken them, science shows you will put yourself and your loved ones at significantly increased risk. You will also expose friends and others that you come in contact with to an increased risk of infection. This is particularly true if you are unvaccinated and refrain from social distancing and wearing face masks in public or don't continually test for the coronavirus.

Future In-Person Activities

In summary, we resumed "in-person" activities in phases.

In September 2020, we conducted "in-person" Outdoor activities with strict COVID-19 protocols in place. With increasing vaccination coverage, we plan to increase the frequency of these activities, weather permitting.

In June 2021, we had our first indoor lunch and river cruise with minimal social distancing and face mask use.  This event was intended for members and their guests with full vaccinations.  Due to the explosion in cases and infection rates in Florida, in the near term we may have to again curtail indoor activities, particularly dining or drinking, when face masks must be removed.

In February 2022, we plan to resume cruising the Caribbean. Click here for a detailed chronology of developments affecting the Cruise Industry.

We will continue planning a mix of other in-car, outdoor and virtual activities as warranted by the prevailing status of the pandemic.

Stay well.

Larry Chanin

Vice President, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts

email:             lfchanin@gmail.com

Website:          teslaownersflorida.org

Facebook:        Florida Tesla Enthusiasts

Twitter:           Tesla Owners Florida

Florida Tesla Enthusiasts, Inc. is an enthusiast club and 501(c) 7 non-profit organization. It is registered with the Florida Department of State and is also registered to do business in Florida as Tesla Owners Florida.

The use of the trademarked name "Tesla" in our club names is strictly for the nominative purposes of description and identification as granted by the Lanham Act for fair use of trademarks. Its use is in no way intended to imply any business affiliation with Tesla or its subsidiaries.

Our club is an official partner of the Tesla Owners Club Program. While it is recognized and sanctioned by Tesla through the program, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts, a/k/a Tesla Owners Club of Florida, is an independent enthusiast organization and is not affiliated with Tesla or its subsidiaries. TESLA, MODEL S, MODEL X, MODEL 3, POWERWALL and the “TESLA,” “T” and “TESLA and T Flag” designs, and certain other marks, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Tesla Motors, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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