Florida has once again shattered its record for most new coronavirus cases in one day with nearly 2,800 added Tuesday. It’s at least the sixth time this month the state has broken its record for most cases in one day.
According to the state’s official dashboard, More than 80,100 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the state and nearly 3,000 have died. More than 12,000 Floridians have been hospitalized.
Dr. Peter Chang, vice president of care transitions at Tampa General Hospital, says Hillsborough has also seen record numbers of positive cases this week.
“The latest numbers are concerning.
“Essentially what we’re seeing is over the last I would way week and a half so around 10 days, we’ve seen a considerable increase in the number of new cases per day in Hillsborough County. It’s one of the best ways to track the spread of COVID-19.
“As we look at the caseloads, Sunday was actually our biggest day in Hillsborough County since the beginning of the pandemic with at least 223 reported cases. Previous to that on Saturday we had around 170 new cases.
“So really kind of what you’re seeing is a consequence of the people not following the three big rules as I call them. Which is the first is, of course, wearing a face-covering or a mask. The second is appropriate distancing between people when you’re out in public spaces. And, of course, the third is to make sure you’re frequently washing your hands.
“Those are kind of the three things we can do to help protect ourselves. As you go out into the community you’re really not seeing that.
“And I really want to urge and stress the importance that this is not a direct relation to Phase 1 opening. One can say you can make that argument. But had to do Phase 1 opening for a variety of different reasons. But when you look at doing it and doing it safely, there’s two completely different things.
“And although Phase 1 is in full speed right now, moving into Phase 2, we really are not seeing the take-up of wearing the mask, keeping your distance and, of course, washing your hands.”
WMNF askeed Dr. Chang what are warning signs to look out for in the coming days and weeks.
“I really think looking at the hospitalizations is most important.
“When we talk about the rising numbers, I think an important concept is to look at the age group in which is being infected. What we’ve seen here is as young as 15 all the way to 44. That age bracket we’ve seen marked expansion in the number of new cases.
“Now, they only represent, depending on the age group, anywhere from 5 to 8 percent of all hospitalizations are from those age groups. So you really have to take it with a grain of salt that says those patients aren’t really being rapidly admitted because we’re really looking at our older population with more comorbidities that’s being admitted more frequently.
“But those patients that are out there and either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic are the ones that could spread it to their aunts, their uncles, their parents, their grandparents.
“Work in one of those facilities we mentioned earlier, the long-term care facilities, or even in spreading it to our senior retirement communities like Sun City Center. That’s where I really get concerned.
“So although we are seeing a rise in cases I think our only kind of rescue is the fact that younger folks are getting infected but it’s only a matter of time before this week we see the 20 to 30 year old and then two weeks from now we’re now seeing their parents and grandparents. That’s the alarm we have that would and could potentially overwhelm the healthcare resources in the county.”
According to the AP, “The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 now exceeds the number of American service members who died in World War I. The current pandemic mortality tally for the United States from Johns Hopkins University reached 116,526 on Tuesday.”
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