66 out of 67 Florida counties report 'high levels' of COVID transmissions, CDC says

Mask mandates are coming back in a few Florida cities and some hospitals are starting to re-enact restrictions as coronavirus cases soar across the Sunshine State.

According to the CDC, Florida currently leads the country in new infections, accounting for about one-in-five new cases in the U.S.  Over the last month, Florida went from one of the lowest sites of community transmission to the highest in the country.

Florida is now reporting high levels of community transmission in every county, save for Glades County.

As of July 27, all but one Florida county is now listed as having 'high levels' of community transmission for COVID-19, according to the CDC's data. The only county not reporting high levels of community transmission is Glades County.

Since July 1, new cases have nearly quadrupled in our state, and are at their highest level since mid-January.

Some hospitals are struggling to keep up with the influx of sick people. Epidemiologists say hospitalizations are increasing at a faster rate than at any point in the pandemic.

MORE: Florida’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate increased 65% since last week

"What we’re seeing is an explosive increase in the number of the people who are getting hospitalized again," said USF disease specialist Dr. Thomas Unnasch. "From the models I am seeing, we could be having in Florida some real stresses on our hospitals and medical care system by early to mid-September."

Some hospitals are already stressed. AdventHealth has suspended elective surgeries in central Florida locations in an effort to free up bed space. Bay Area AdventHealth locations, however, are still operating as usual.  

Effective Tuesday, Sarasota Memorial Hospital will limit visiting hours to noon to 6 p.m. Visitors are also limited to two per patient, but in the delivery and emergency units, only one visitor or support person is allowed. Pediatric patients can have two parents or guardians with them.

Palm Beach and Coral Springs have also re-instituted their mask mandates. Masks are now required indoors on city property.