Spring break has come and gone and left behind an aftermath of COVID-19 cases in Florida. The South Florida Sun Sentinel says that the Sunshine State is the leading state for variants in the nation with over 11,000 cases to date out of which over 10,000 are of the U.K. variant, close to 700 are of the Brazil variant and some are of the South African variant. There have been 67 deaths which are double the number reported two weeks ago and 243 were hospitalized.
As of now about 40 percent of Floridians have received at least one dose of the vaccine but the state has not released data on the vaccination status of those who have been infected with the variant.
Scientists and researchers are puzzled about the high numbers of those who have the variants in the state and say that the actual numbers are much higher as only a fraction of the coronavirus infections, about 1%, are tested to detect the presence of variants.
The ABC affiliate WFTV released the following data:
- On March 14, the number of variant cases was 740.
- On April 14, there were 5,072 cases.
- On April 27, the variant cases rose to 9,248.
The surge has coincided with the spring break from mid-March to April. College students and vacationers overran the state leading to a temporary lockdown in Miami. The Orlando Sentinel sued to receive the data in March and it was released as a part of the legal settlement.
The data was released on Monday, after Governor Ron DeSantis lifted COVID-19 restrictions in the state. However, officials in many counties including mayors in St. Petersburg and Miami-Dade denounced the governor as they felt that he did not know what communities needed as he didn’t live there. They also said that they prefer to listen to health officials including those from the CDC.
As the numbers of those who are infected with the COVID-19 variants increase, the speed and reach of the vaccine drive in Florida is decreasing.