Coronavirus outbreak impacting tourism in Jackson County

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) -- Places like Florida Caverns and Blue Springs State parks bring in thousands of visitors to Jackson County every year, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, tourism officials are telling people to stay home.

Coronavirus is impact tourism across our state in many places including Jackson County. (Source: WJHG)

”Florida is a tourist destination and people are coming from all over into the state. Now we’re not encouraging that,” said Jackson County Tourist Development Council Executive Director, Christy Andreason.

Andreason said they’ve switched gears and instead of attracting people to the area they’re now providing information about COVID-19.

“We’ve got a blog set up that direct people to different places to learn about the best practices, any of the bridge zones that are available right and other ways they can help out in the community,” said Andreason.

Andreason said they’re also sharing information about the outbreak from the Governor’s office, CDC, AND The Florida Department of Health. She said they’re also encouraging people to stay home when they’re sick and order takeout from local restaurants.

“We are seeing those restaurants close down more and more each day. Any little bit that we can do to help we got here is what we’re trying to do,” said Andreason.

Andreason said they were hoping tourism this year would help them recover from Hurricane Michael, but dealing with the coronavirus may change their plans.

“We have a lot of events that have been canceled for the next 60 days. So we don’t know what it’s gonna look like, I’m sure it’s gonna be pretty significant,” said Andreason.

Andreason said right now they’re putting the community’s health first and hope to find ways to bounce back when the outbreak is over.

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