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