‘We need to take this very seriously:’ Health expert warns of rise in COVID cases in Florida

As COVID-19 cases spiked nationwide over the summer, Florida is reportedly seeing one of the highest increases, prompting health experts to warn residents to take the situation very seriously and take protective and educational measures.

Second lord Doug Emhoff tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms. Vice President Kamala Harris, however, tested negative and remains asymptomatic.

READ: Long COVID remains severe and persistent; over 200 symptoms identified

This comes amid a summer surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, including Florida, prompting health experts to warn residents to take the situation very seriously and implement protective measures. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Florida tops the list of all states during this surge.

The number of COVID-19 cases in emergency rooms has increased sharply in recent weeks, almost as high as the worst days of last winter.

In addition to emergency room visits, other key statistics in Florida, such as wastewater and nursing home data, have also increased significantly.

Chart provided by the Center for Disease and PreventionChart provided by the Center for Disease and Prevention

Chart provided by the Center for Disease and Prevention

READ: Emergency departments in Florida are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, nearing last winter’s peak

Action News Jax spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen, the former director of Duval’s Department of Public Health, who said the increase is to be expected as more variants emerge and unvaccinated people are susceptible.

“Unfortunately, the support for COVID testing is not what it was during the pandemic, but those COVID tests are still available through pharmacies. People need to take this very seriously,” said Dr. Goldhagen.

Historically, COVID-19 activity has increased at least twice a year since the pandemic began: once in the summer or early fall after a spring slump, and again in the winter. However, the CDC now says that the observed patterns of COVID-19 activity are not seasonal and can increase at any time of year, often driven by new variants.

Dr. Goldhagen added: “Over a million people died during the pandemic. Most of the people who did were not actually vaccinated. The vaccines that do work. If they want to take that risk for themselves, they certainly can, but they need to vaccinate their children, and certainly those around them who are at high risk.”

Currently, the KP.2 and KP.3 variants are the most prevalent nationwide variants, accounting for more than half of recent cases. Other variants, such as LB.1 and KP.4.1, are also contributing to the current increase.

Dr. Goldhagen also warned of the possibility of a new pandemic with the H1N1 bird flu virus. While the current threat to public health is low, he stressed that if we do not learn from our experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, we will make the same mistakes with future viruses.

To protect themselves and others, everyone is urged to follow the following guidelines:

For more information and resources, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page or your local health department’s website.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

Leave a Comment