Photo: EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI / AFP / Getty Images
The number of coronavirus cases in Florida has risen 50% over the past week, authorities said Friday, and the state already accounts for a large portion of the nation’s total cases which records an increase in new COVID-19 infections mainly caused by the Delta variant.
The alarming rebound in covid-19 in Florida continued this unstoppable week with 110,477 new cases, a positivity rate of 18.1% and hospital chains such as AventHealt, the largest in the center of the state, raising the emergency level from “red” to “black” due to the more than a thousand hospitalized in its centers.
The AdventHealth chain points out that 94% of people hospitalized for covid-19 are not vaccinated and that the elevation to “black” of the emergency level means that hospitals will begin to postpone non-emergency procedures in Polk, Orange, Lake, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler counties (central Florida).
The figures released today by the Florida Department of Health could not be more grim for the week of July 23 to 29, with a total of 110,477 new infections, compared to the 73,196 registered the previous week, and 108 deaths. This week’s figure shows an average of more than 15,700 new cases daily.
Additionally, the positivity rate rose from 15.3% last week to 18.1% the week ending this Friday, the only day the Florida Department of Health provides information on the incidence of covid-19.
Until today, since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, a total of 2,590,699 cases of covid-19 have been recorded in Florida.
As cases skyrocket, the state has seen vaccination go up (334,064 new vaccinated this week) in fear of a possible contagion and at a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the delta variant appears to be as infectious as chickenpox or measles.
According to the latest official data, 61% of Floridians 12 years and older are currently vaccinated.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Democrat Nikki fried, expressed today at the Florida Capitol his concern about the “direction in which we are going”, with more than 1,500 new cases in 24 hours, according to data provided by the state Department of Health to the CDC.
Lack of data on COVID-19
In the absence of daily updates on covid-19 in Florida, suspended by the governor of this state, Republican Ron DeSantis, Fried began this week holding briefings on the incidence of the pandemic.
In opposition to the governor, Nikki Fried encouraged Floridians to wear a face mask and follow the CDC’s recommendations, something that clashes with the executive order signed today by DeSantis to let it be the parents, and not the local authorities, who decide if their children wear masks in schools as prevention against covid-19.
DeSantis signed the decree with immediate effect on Friday, aimed at stopping any “rebellion” in school districts against state laws, which neither contemplate nor have they ever contemplated the mandatory use of masks.
The Republican once again lashed out at the CDC, which this week backed off and recommended that those who are vaccinated wear masks indoors and in public spaces in most of the country.
The governor’s order supposes in practice the inability of school districts to enforce the use of masks at local educational centers, as authorized by Broward County authorities.
Authorities say current hospitalizations are increasing at a “rapid rate” and have passed their January 2020 peak of 900.
On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the highly communicable delta variant of the coronavirus can be spread among fully vaccinated people almost as much as among those who have not received any doses.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Florida is the third state with the most accumulated cases of covid-19 and the fourth in number of deaths in the entire country.
With information from agencies