TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The latest weekly report on COVID-19 cases in Florida shows the state in the midst of a third spike, with the highest daily increases recorded since January 2021.
According to the report from the Florida Department of Health, 73,166 new cases were reported from July 16 to July 22, versus the additional 45,604 new cases the week before. The FDOH switched from daily data publications to weekly reports in June.
Florida doctors are warning the public about the dangers of the delta variant of COVID-19, but solutions seem scarce.
While some health professionals ask for a return of pandemic restrictions in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to promise the opposite, instead putting virus restrictions in the hands of everyday Floridians, as local governments are still blocked from mandates by state law.
On average over the past week, Florida saw 12,194 new cases per day, starting last Friday. This week’s new case positivity rate is at 15.1%, up from the previous 11.5%. The week’s COVID deaths were recorded at 78, up from the previous week’s report of 59.
Vaccinations across Florida continue to be at issue, with doctors across the state concerned that the patients rapidly filling hospitals are mainly young and unvaccinated, to the tune of 99% of the cases, according to Dr. Kimberly Hatchel with Blake Hospital.
In terms of vaccine doses, 11,469,755 Floridians are vaccinated as of July 22, versus the total of 11,292,335 as of the previous week’s report. From July 16 to July 22, an additional 177,420 vaccines were administered.
Still, reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that Florida is home to 20% of the country’s COVID-19 cases. Tampa Bay hospitals are now reportedly facing a surge of cases.
The easier spread of the delta variant, combined with a statewide block on restrictions at all levels of government, may be contributing to the higher case positivity and higher numbers of people infected with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, even those who have been vaccinated are still getting infected. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21, though thankfully her symptoms were mild and her family is said to be in good health.