Tourists in St. Augustine taking coronavirus precautions

WHO declared Wednesday that virus crisis is now a pandemic

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – In downtown St. Augustine, it’s not uncommon to find yourself walking among thousands of tourists from around the United States and abroad.

But since the World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic, News4Jax found tourists have mixed reactions when it comes to being around so many people at one time.

Janet and Wayne Carr, who traveled from the United Kingdom to the ancient city to enjoy a vacation, said they are not too worried.

“We’re being vigilant. We are washing our hands and we’ve got sanitizers, so we’re just being careful. I think if everybody does that, then we should be safe," Janet Carr said.

Wayne Carr said: "We were just at the Arnold Palmer Invitational for a week and it didn’t concern me at all.”

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But Monica Neubert, who just moved to Florida from Portugal, said she is slightly concerned.

“It’s a concern because I have lupus. My immune system is lower than the rest of normal people," Neubert said. "But I’m not freaking out. I have precautions.”

Suzy Themeli, who was visiting St. Augustine from Boston, said she worried about potentially causing a stir while traveling here.

“I’m not going to cough on you, but I actually did have a slight cough myself on our trip here and I was on a plane and I felt very bad for people around me because I thought they were going to think I’m ground zero," Themeli said. "I actually wore a mask even though it was nothing -- just an allergy thing.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the steps to protect yourself from the virus is washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

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