TAMPA, Fla. - Where exactly is Florida on the so-called curve, when it comes to COVID-19 infections, and which way are we trending?
“We're still adding cases of COIVD-19 every day, but we're adding them at a much lower rate, which implies our social distancing is having a positive impact,” said Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of public health at The University of South Florida.
Statewide, data shows, in mid-to-late-March, the number of newly-reported cases rose like a staircase, from 150 on March 20 to 1,300 on April 3, the day the statewide 'stay at home' order went into effect.
Last week, new cases hovered around 1,00 per day, signaling a leveling-off in the increase of new daily cases -- a flattening of the curve.
“What we've seen all along, particularly as the physical distancing comes into place, that rate of rising is decreasing which means we're flatting that curve,” Dr. Levine explained.
Dr. Levin cautioned, however, the sunshine state is not out of the woods yet.
Models show Florida is more than 20 days away from its peak in the number of deaths per day.
The models from the University of Washington now show May 6 could be the peak, with single-day deaths projected to reach 128. That number is an improvement over last week's models, which predicted single-day deaths to reach 149 on April 23.
Graph of new cases per day, up to April 13
Remember, the numbers can and will change, based on our actions.
Dr. Levine said measures to keep people at home and from gathering in large groups is the main thing contributing to improvements in daily case reports. She said, as those measures continue, it may be increasingly difficult to keep them in place.
“It is going to get harder to stay in this mode because we've been at it so long but it’s more important now than even in the very beginning,” she said.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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