TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — COVID-19 cases tripled in Florida over the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The news comes days before millions of people are expected to gather for the Christmas holiday.
On Nov. 7, Florida reported 271 cases. But on Wednesday, more than a month later, the state reported 6,846 additional cases, the most reported since Sept. 24, when it tallied 7,184.
The surge comes as the new omicron variant spreads across the United States.
“It is the most transmissible virus of Covid we’ve had to deal with thus far,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s top medical advisor.
CDC data shows COVID-19 cases steadily increasing statewide. In Hillsborough County, 855 cases were reported over the last seven days, not as many as in August and September, when the county was reporting around 2,000 cases per week. In Pinellas County, 523 cases were reported over the past week.
Officials are predicting a spike in new infections during Christmas week.
“Go get your shot today,” said President Joe Biden. “Go get boosted if you had your first two shots, if you haven’t, go get your first shot. It’s time. It’s time. It’s past time.”
So far in Florida, more than 3.6 million people have received their booster. That’s around 27% of Floridians who are eligible to get the shot.
On Thursday, a CDC panel recommended people get vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna instead of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since the J&J shot can cause rare but serious blood clots. This recommendation is for all shots, not just the booster.