Covid on the Rise Again in Florida

Florida’s break from Covid appears to be over. COVID-19 infections are rising  across the state and a new variant could be responsible. Experts believe Covid cases will continue to rise with new Omicron variants such as BA.2

The state recorded 3357 cases per day, on average on April 26. That’s nearly double the 1,600 average daily caseload from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida’s positivity rate jumped to nearly 8 percent on April 18, the CDC reported. It’s the highest level seen in Florida since February — up from 4.2 percent just a few weeks  weeks ago.

Florida has recorded a total of 5.9 million infections and 73,822 deaths in the last  two years and two months since Covid began.

The increase in cases coincides with the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant called BA.2.12.1. The new variant is part of the omicron BA.2 family, and now accounts for nearly one in five new infections in the Southeast, according to the CDC. Health officials  estimate that the new variant is about 23 to 27 percent more transmissible than BA.2 and may be behind the recent bump in cases in that state.

Getting vaccinated and boosted is still the best way to prevent severe illness, according to CDC guidelines. But vaccine efficacy wanes over time, and up to 60 percent of fully vaccinated Floridians are overdue for a booster, according to CDC data.

The true number of infections in recent weeks is likely much higher because of two important factors. At-home tests are now widely available but those results are not reported to state health officials, so they don’t get counted when tabulating caseloads. Florida’s case count only includes positive test results from clinical settings like state-run testing sites, healthcare facilities and pharmacies. But in the past two weeks, Florida reported the fewest clinical test results since June 2020. The daily average for tests was 39,061 on April 6 which represents a 24% increase from the 14 day average but still well below numbers from just a few months ago. Florida’s case count only includes positive test results from clinical settings like state-run testing sites, healthcare facilities and pharmacies. But in the past two weeks, Florida reported the fewest clinical test results since June 2020. Some Floridians may be unable to access testing due to limited public testing facilities, which could also result in an undercounting of cases.

If you suspect you have Covid, MedOne Urgent Care is still open and performing PCR Covid testing. Click here for more info on our Covid 19 testing in St Augustine.

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