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COVID-19’s Impacts on Colleges; Snowbirds Stay Put; Black Friday Shopping

Cars lined up for COVID-19 testing.
Wilfredo Lee
Associated Press
Cars line up at a COVID-19 testing site at Tropical Park, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Miami.

Colleges are working hard to control the spread of COVID-19. But how will the vector of college students on the move this Thanksgiving weekend impact the pandemic, both on campus and off? Andrew Atterbury, who covers education for POLITICO of Florida, joined us for a closer look.

The pandemic has also impacted Florida sports at the high school, college, and pro tiers. Games have been canceled or postponed while teams have struggled to have a season at all.

Sports anchor Cole Pepper of WJXT in Jacksonville and WJCT News reporter Sky LeBron spoke with us about the remainder of the season and the possibility of sports returning next year.

Travel Restrictions And Snowbirds

Travel plays a central role in Florida’s economy, especially among the winter snowbirds who typically travel this time of year. However, this winter Florida will likely see fewer Canadians migrating to the Sunshine State due to COVID-19. NPR National Correspondent Greg Allen joined us from Miami to discuss how pandemic-related travel restrictions could affect the state’s economy.

One business sector feeling the effects of travel restrictions is the hotel industry. With fewer people checking in, empty hotel rooms are changing the industry’s economic projections. WLRN’s Caitie Switalski Muñozspoke with motel owner Richard Clavet in Broward County, who has relied on Canadian winter visitors for years.


The pandemic has changed a lot of things, including the way we shop. Online shopping has soared this year, but on this Black Friday, the state’s retailers hope you’ll continue to buy both online and in person.
Overall, retail sales are expected to take a hit this year, even as there’s a push to encourage Florida consumers to buy locally-made goods.

We spoke to Scott Shalley, President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) about the small business owner Daniel Broyles, who co-owns Foreign Accents in Orlando. Shalley gave us an idea of  what retailers can expect this holiday season.

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.