TAMPA, Fla. - Coronavirus cases are spiking in states across the nation and Florida is among them, adding an average 1,300 positive cases a day so far in June.
Florida added just over 1,700 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, continuing an upward trend over the course of nearly two weeks.
“Our 14-day trajectory shows continued steady increases. There was a slight flattening yesterday but early reports today, I anticipate a large number coming back,” said Dr. Douglas Holt, the Florida Department of Health Hillsborough County director.
Other states are also seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases, leading some to wonder if the U.S. is in a second wave of the virus. Most experts say the first wave isn't over.
“I think we're seeing what was expected by many of us, whether you call it a second wave, depending on how you define that, or part of the plateau that keeps going up and down,” said Dr. Jay Wolfson of USF Health. He added that the spikes are part of a natural consequence of more testing, reliable testing, and more people out in public following the state’s reopening.
Wolfson said the second wave of the virus is expected in the fall and the virus will likely spread much faster with more hospitalizations and more deaths.
One group leading the number of new cases currently is younger adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people ages 18 to 49 make up the largest number of COVID-19 cases nationwide.
“They are experiencing the fastest rate of growth and the highest rate of growth above the older populations,” said Wolfson. “And even if they are not getting the strong symptoms, they become carriers and they can bring it home to their grandparents, their aunts and their uncles.”
Hillsborough County health officials say people 34 and younger represent the biggest increase lately, and hospitals are admitting more of them to emergency rooms.
While communities navigate this new normal, doctors warn not to become complacent.
“Be alerted that if there are outbreaks of this disease again in communities, local governments may decide to begin to close things down again. We don't want that to happen,” said Wolfson.
When it comes to hospitalizations, public health officials in Hillsborough County say as of June 12 only 4% of hospital beds are being used for COVID-19 patients. They also say deaths are trending down.
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 email@example.com. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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