HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — There is some optimism to be had surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic according to a doctor with USF Health, who says models have predicted when the virus will fade away.
In the entire Hillsborough County School district, only two students were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19. There were no reported cases among faculty and staff.
The numbers compare to September when there were more than 500 students reported with the virus, according to the school systems dashboard. The Hillsborough County Health Department COVID dashboard shows the positivity rate is now approaching just 3%.
Dr. Edwin Michael with USF Health has been tracking this data for months and says it shows there is reason to be optimistic.
“There are two big ‘ifs.’ If immunity is long term, is more permanent and no new variants come, this will be the last wave,” he said. “This will fade away.”
Dr. Michael says the rate is dropping because the immunity rate is increasing in the area.
“The thing to remember is, we are now currently 82% of the population, we are estimating, are currently immune, from vaccine immunity as well as natural immunity from infections,” Dr. Michael said. “We are very close to herd immunity, about 90% is what we are estimating herd immunity would be, so we are only 8% points away.”
Dr. Michael said he does not expect to see another rise in COVID cases and pointing to models that predict the virus will fade away by the start of next year if there are no new variants of the disease or other unknown factors.