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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Vacationers Gauging COVID Cases Before Planning Last-Minute Labor Day Trips

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Many Cincinnatians are headed west and south to national parks for Labor Day.

If you waited to plan your Labor Day getaway until this week you aren't alone. AAA Cincinnati says one reason is people want to see where the numbers for COVID-19 are lowest.

AAA Spokeswoman Jenifer Moore says Cincinnatians have been asking for maps and tour books to national parks. Those could be out west or the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. People are also traveling to Nashville, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.

Moore says most Labor Days, but not this one, Cincinnatians head to Orlando. She says people are concerned about the high numbers of coronavirus cases in Florida.

However, it seems plenty of people nationwide are going to Florida from other parts of the country. Here's the latest data from the app TripIt which shows Orlando as the third most popular destination for Labor Day.

AAA offers a COVID-19 tracking tool on its website as well as listing state restrictions.

Moore says Cincinnatians are asking about outdoor dining and are booking hotels with kitchens.

Some are flying to their destinations. TripIt reports big increases for Labor Day to Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. It reports some have strict restrictions, like Aruba, which requires in-flight masks and a negative COVID test within 72 hours prior to departure or at arrival.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology