With Floridians lining up by the tens of thousands for COVID tests across the state this week, University of Florida researchers predict that cases in the Sunshine State, driven by the new omicron variant, could peak in February with more than 30,000 reported cases a day.
The report by three UF researchers said the actual number of infections, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, could be significantly higher — up to 150,000 infections a day — under the most likely scenario in Florida.
“The number of projected infections is much larger than the number of reported cases because many infections are not reported, especially if they are asymptomatic or mild,” the report released late last week said.
At the beginning of the month, Florida had a seven-day average of just over 1,400 cases, though that number has grown significantly as the omicron variant has spread. As of Monday, Florida had a seven-day average of more than 8,600 cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have seen this omicron variant rapidly spreading like wildfire, especially as we head into the holiday season,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday at a news conference announcing new efforts to combat the virus in Florida’s most populous county.
Those efforts include a return to requiring masks at all county buildings and the opening of more COVID testing sites since demand has exploded in the past week across the county, as well as the state.
Levine Cava also said she has asked the federal government for more monoclonal antibody treatments, which are used to treat those who have fallen ill with the virus. There has been a shortage of the treatment across the country.
The Miami-Dade mayor said the best thing anybody could to protect against the new variant is to get vaccinated.
In response to the spreading new variant, Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood said Wednesday it would limit most visitors, with exceptions made for end-of-life patients, labor and delivery, as well as pediatric and special needs patients.
Meanwhile, Floridians seeking COVID tests at drive-through sites were waiting in long lines, some for several hours. At Barnett Park in Orlando, the wait was up to two hours.
“The majority are coming for tests for travel purposes or because they have Christmas gatherings in a few days,” Daniella Sullivan, an Orange County Health Services administrator, told the Orlando Sentinel.
December 23, 2021 at 12:43 pm
Epidemiologist state that those with prior Covid infection are partially immune for no longer than five months. Currently Floridians over the age of 65 are 89% fully vaccinated. State wide the total population fully vaccinated rate stands at 63%.
The virus has many more Florida residents to target.
December 24, 2021 at 12:01 am
Florida leads the country with seniors getting inoculations. That’s per Bidens HHS. Compliments to Gov Ron. Well done.
December 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm
I thought we were all supposed to take Ivermectin to avoid the evil Democratic vaccines Right, Gubernor?
December 26, 2021 at 10:55 pm
I had Delta and only had very minor symptoms for a couple days. I didnt even get a cough. Omicron is supposed to be even more mild.
Sorry but this variant doesn’t scare me at all. And I still won’t be getting the vaccine. Especially since the data is showing the vaccine is not very effective against Omicron.
The Younger Claude Kirk
December 23, 2021 at 1:06 pm
Ahhhh the old 3 nameless UF Researchers trick. Yeah Right.
December 28, 2021 at 9:43 am
If you’re still buying into the China Bio-Weapon Flu Scamdemic or the new Omi’conjob… then you deserve the misery it causes you in your life.
Have a safe and Happy New Year everyone, and… LETS GO BRANDON
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