South Florida COVID-19 cases skyrocket as officials monitor severity of omicron variant
Image via AP.

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Cases were up nearly 349% in Miami-Dade County.

COVID-19 cases care ballooning in South Florida, as the omicron variant is rapidly spreading through the tri-county area.

Data from the Department of Health show cases skyrocketing during the week leading up to Christmas Eve, Dec. 17-23. Cases were up nearly 349% in Miami-Dade County, more than 394% in Broward County and just over 385% in Palm Beach County. That’s after cases shot up the prior week as well.

Miami-Dade’s case positivity rate — which measures the share of tests coming back positive — surged from 7% during the week of Dec. 10-16 to 16.6% last week. Broward’s number rose from 6.9% to 19.1%. Palm Beach County saw its case positivity rate leap from 6.5% to 17.1%.

Data show the omicron variant may cause less severe symptoms than prior COVID-19 strains, however. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its quarantine guidelines for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients. The CDC now recommends a five-day quarantine for asymptomatic patients, down from 10 days.

South Florida’s surge comes as cases are rapidly increasing throughout the state and U.S. But as studies show the strain is less severe, it’s unclear how far local officials and businesses will go in instituting more strict safety measures in response.

Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:

Miami-Dade

— Dec. 3-9: 2,771 newly confirmed cases, 2% positivity rate, 20,719 vaccine doses administered, 90% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

— Dec. 10-16: 11,689 newly confirmed cases, 7% positivity rate, 18,287 vaccine doses administered, 91% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

— Dec. 17-23: 52,428 newly confirmed cases, 16.6% positivity rate, 21,504 vaccine doses administered, 92% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

Broward

— Dec. 3-9: 1,524 newly confirmed cases, 2.6% positivity rate, 11,527 vaccine doses administered, 79% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

— Dec. 10-16: 4,770 newly confirmed cases, 6.9% positivity rate, 10,789 vaccine doses administered, 80% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

— Dec. 17-23: 23,575 newly confirmed cases, 19.1% positivity rate, 13,434 vaccine doses administered, 81% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

Palm Beach

— Dec. 3-9: 942 newly confirmed cases, 2.6% positivity rate, 6,996 vaccine doses administered, 72% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

— Dec. 10-16: 2,445 newly confirmed cases, 6.5% positivity rate, 6,279 vaccine doses administered, 73% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

— Dec. 17-23: 11,860 newly confirmed cases, 17.1% positivity rate, 7,819 vaccine doses administered, 73% of 5-and-up population now vaccinated

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]



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