Delta strain driving up COVID cases in Tampa Bay, doctors say

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The number of COVID cases is on the rise in Florida, including in Tampa Bay area counties. The state reported 45,603 new cases this week, marking the highest spike in weeks.

Dr. Vincent Hsu, an epidemiologist and the executive director of infection prevention with AdventHealth, says most of the new cases are the delta strain of the virus.

“The good news is we are not seeing infections in patients who are fully-vaccinated in the hospitals,” Dr. Hsu said. “Everyone who is hospitalized with COVID is unvaccinated.”

Carmello Guercio says he and several other family members recently tested positive for the virus, even though most have been vaccinated.

“Four of us were vaccinated months ago. We had that false sense of, ‘let’s go party – we’re good.’ Well, guess what – we got coronavirus,” Guercio said.

He says one of his brothers has not been vaccinated and is feeling a greater impact with his illness.

“So the vaccine works, in our opinion, to keep us from hospitalization, dying, [becoming] deathly ill,” Guercio added.

Dr. David Dowdy with Johns Hopkins Hospitals says vaccines are still effective.

“It’s important to note that there is no evidence that the current vaccines are any less effective against the Delta variant,” Dr. Dowdy said. “So even in places like the U.S. where the Delta variant has become the dominant strain, vaccines still work and work very well.”

He says people who are not vaccinated are still becoming seriously ill with the virus.

“This is why we’ve seen the vast majority – over 90% in some places – of serious COVID injury and death occurring among people who are not vaccinated,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus Need-to-Know Info

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss