COVID Cases Surge in Florida as Trend Continues
COVID cases in Florida are on the rise once again, following a pattern seen in the past three summers. According to wastewater data from Biobot, COVID levels in wastewater samples have been steadily increasing since late June.
Florida is part of the South region, which has been experiencing a similar trend as the rest of the nation, with a slight dip in data. Health officials believe that the upcoming rollout of an updated booster in mid-September will provide better protection against serious illness.
Nationwide, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 18.8%, while Florida has seen a 9.4% rise. COVID accounts for 1.7% of all deaths in the US, with Florida reporting 3.4% of all deaths related to the virus.
PCR tests are still considered the most accurate, but not all insurances cover them since the federal emergency ended in May. However, some Walgreens locations offer free at-home PCR tests without insurance, and rapid tests are available for purchase in select stores.
Although rapid tests are less accurate than PCR tests, they can still be helpful in detecting COVID. Testing remains crucial because the virus can have long-lasting impacts on the body, and documenting infections may be necessary for future treatment.
If you’re feeling sick, the CDC recommends isolating at home for at least five days and wearing a high-quality mask when around others. However, it is important to note that accurate case numbers in your community may not be easily obtainable. Instead, you can rely on sources such as wastewater data, hospitalization rates, and death data from the CDC and Florida Department of Health websites.
While the current COVID levels in Florida are slightly behind those seen during the Delta variant surge in August 2021, they are higher than the levels observed during the summer of 2022 before peaking again in winter. Stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and others during this ongoing pandemic.
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