It is now the summer of 2022, and the United States is dealing with a fresh surge. Cases have continued to increase in recent months, but the relief is that the rate of hospitalization and fatality is not as high as it was at the beginning of the outbreak. Still, the situation can get dire. Already, coronavirus has changed many things about American life. Schools, businesses, and public places have not been immune from its effects either. The way people work and socialize changed, although there are efforts to normalize everything again. In this context, it can be interesting to note how different states are doing. Let’s look at Florida, for example.
As of 2022, the number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is rising, becoming a concerning trend, as it indicates that the virus is still very much present and continuing to spread. Various factors can be contributing to this. One of them is its vast population, making it easier for the virus to spread. Additionally, it hosts a large number of tourists, which also increases the likelihood of transmission. Plus, the considerable size of the elderly population makes it more vulnerable. In the face of the current scenario, it has become essential to take safety measures by getting vaccinated and boosted, testing oneself if there is any symptom, and being careful when attending an indoor event. Here are some more insights into this place, so you know the condition of your state or neighborhood well.
Overall COVID scenario in Florida
Before beginning, if you have seen MyBioSource’s recent poll, you would know that about 38% of the population support official COVID measures, while 25% of people are against them. Federal data suggested that over 75% of the population in the state belongs to high-risk areas. It consists of Tampa Bay. CDC recommends people should cover their mouths and nose in public indoor settings and test if they experience any symptoms. BayCare’s Laura Arline said that there is a need to wear masks in crowded spaces and indoor events to protect oneself from catching the infection, as the new cases and hospital admissions continue to rise weekly.
The number of COVID-led hospitalizations has increased by 20%, and the positivity rate is also 20%, which is more than what happened in the last four months. The daily average count of cases stands at 10,257.
Revelations by sewage study
Biobot Analytics, a Boston-based laboratory that gathers wastewater samples from different agencies in the country, reported that Seminole and Pinellas’s water treatment plants had the highest number of viral particles in the samples. Palm Beach County also had the same experience. However, the situation looks a little better in Hillsborough County, where the viral particles had been almost 40% less than a week before.
The availability of at-home testing kits has impacted the number of people that go for PCR or other testing done by the health agencies. The government agencies collect data from them. Since at-home tests don’t count, many cases of infection go unnoticed. Still, the data collected by the health officials show that the state is seeing 40,000 tests a day in July, which is not much different from April 2022 and early June 2020.
The latest surge is attributable to the new omicron subvariant BA.5, which has increased positivity cases by more than 75% in the country as per CDC. The highly contagious virus can easily escape immunity and infect people. Unvaccinated residents are more vulnerable, though. On the other hand, vaccinated and boosted individuals seem to have better protection as they face soreness in the throat, congested nose, joint pain, fatigue, cough, upset stomach, etc.
The risk for the unvaccinated group
CDC’s mid-June data suggest that unvaccinated individuals have been four times more vulnerable than the boosted population. The fatality rate was also much higher in them. The concern is that the vaccination percentage hasn’t improved in the state. Just 28% of the residents have taken boosters as per CDC, and about 80% have got their first jab. Since the outbreak, the virus has infected nearly one-third of the Floridians. Or almost 7 million have contracted the infection so far. If you look at the fatality, about 77K Floridians have lost their lives to the virus.
In this vein, it is crucial to note that the fresh wave can harm seniors, people with weak immunity, and those with underlying medical conditions. Unfortunately, they make up a large part of the population. Hence, taking shots and booster doses is more than necessary. Even though the latest variant can escape and infect a person, it cannot cause complications in most cases. These protective shields can help control symptoms, hospital visits, and death. You can check with pharmacies, clinics, grocery stores, and vaccination centers for vaccination and boosters. Anyone age five and above are eligible for immunization, and booster shots are also available for the eligible groups.