(WSVN) - After her family battled COVID, a South Florida woman wanted to take the kids to the beach and stay at a hotel where masks were mandatory. She got a surprise when she got there. Another viewer wanted to know if their boss could force them to get vaccinated and fire them if they refused. Lots of questions and answers in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

If you think COVID is just a little cold or a joke, talk to the D’Amora family.

Robyn D’Amora: “The five of us got COVID back in May, and it’s been a nightmare. My husband was hospitalized twice in the ER.”

Today, everyone is well, and a few days ago, Robyn wanted to take the kids on a short vacation.

Robyn D’Amora: “I decided to take my three children away to the beach before they went back to school.”

They drove up to Volusia County, to a hotel that Robyn had booked because of what they advertised.

Robyn D’Amora: “The first bullet point said, ‘Masks are to be required by all guests in common areas.'”

After Robyn checked in, she quickly discovered the hotel was not serious about their mask requirement.

Robyn D’Amora: “The guests walking around in the common area were not masked.”

Robyn thought about going home but didn’t want to disappoint the kids. However, she did talk to the hotel staff.

Robyn D’Amora: “[They said], ‘Masks are recommended, but they’re not required,’ stated that it was ‘at your discretion.'”

Robyn kept the kids masked in the lobby and at the beach all day, but then, what she feared. She got the same symptoms she had when she got COVID.

Robyn D’Amora: “I told them that I was experiencing symptoms, breathlessness. I just started not feeling well.”

The vacation was not what she had hoped for. Robyn paid for it, of course, but doesn’t feel like she should have.

Robyn D’Amora: “I believe I am due a refund because they didn’t follow protocol. It’s misleading. It’s not accurate information that’s posted on the website.”

Well, Howard, if a business tries to attract customers by advertising masks are mandatory, do they have to require masks, and if they don’t, what can you do?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert; “If they advertise that, and they don’t follow their policy, that’s a breach of contract, and you get your money back, unless you stay at the hotel like Robyn did, and then you do not get the money back.”

From masks to vaccine questions, can your boss require you to get the COVID vaccine?

Howard Finkelstein: “Yes, they can, with two exceptions: a strongly held religious belief, like some Christian scientists might have, or a medical condition where the vaccine could hurt you.”

And, if you say, “I am not getting that vaccine,” can they fire you?

Howard Finkelstein: “Yes, except for those two exceptions.”

Can Gov. DeSantis block businesses from requiring customers to get the vaccine?

Howard Finkelstein: “The governor is trying to do that with the cruise lines, but a federal judge has ruled that you cannot force a business to allow unvaccinated customers. If the governor appeals, I believe he will lose.”

Robyn D’Amora: “One-hundred percent I was misled.”

A spokesperson for the hotel said they did nothing wrong, writing they were “complying with all laws, including those related to the wearing of face coverings.”

Robyn D’Amora: “Listen to the doctors and get vaccinated.”

Fortunately, Robyn tested negative for COVID, an enormous relief, considering what her family has been through.

Robyn D’Amora: “I’ve lived through it. I went through the trauma of it, lived it, horrible experience, and I don’t want any other family ever to have to experience what I experienced.”

You have the right to choose if you get the vaccine, and of course, your boss has the right to choose whether you can work for them. An unusual time in America.

Now, we are getting a lot of vaccine, mask and COVID questions. If you have any, send them to us, and if you have any other kind of problem, let us know.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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