COVID-19 cases surge in Florida


FORT MYERS, Fla. — COVID-19 is making a resurgence in Florida, with the state breaking two records over the weekend.

On Saturday the CDC reported the highest number of cases the state has ever seen. Then just 24 hours later, the state broke its own hospitalization record too. And the numbers keep rising.

Health officials hoped that COVID-19 vaccines would bring the state closer to the finish line.

Vaccines are widely available, a big change from 2020, but there are fewer restrictions for masks and social distancing. The virus itself has mutated into the Delta variant, which is much more transmissible, experts said. 

Doctors say now is not the time to let up on precautions.

“Where’s the peak, where’s it gonna end? I don’t think we know that,” FGCU professor Robert Hawkes says. “We’re approaching the end of summer, we have Labor Day coming up in a month. We have school starting in a week or so. All these things may potentially spread the COVID Delta variant.”

Doctors say there is no single magic solution. Getting people vaccinated is a big part of their efforts, but they also want everyone– vaccinated or not– to use safety precautions like masks to slow the spread.

“Vaccination is one of the tools,” Dr. Alejandro Perez-Trepichio said. “The other important thing is that we responsibly continue to maintain the mitigation measures.”