Florida’s spike in COVID-19 cases is a reminder the pandemic isn’t over yet

Phase two of Governor DeSantis' plan to reopen Florida is officially underway. However, as the latest numbers from the Florida Health Department's coronavirus dashboard show, the COVID-19 pandemic isn't over yet.

"People are happy for sure to be out, it seems pretty busy. People are definitely taking advantage," said Katelyn Feeney, a Tampa resident.

On Sunday, the DOH announced 1,180 new cases with Bay Area counties like Polk and Manatee seeing the highest rate of positive tests.

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Since June 2, the COVID-19 dashboard shows at least 1,000 residents testing positive for the virus every day. It's a slight increase in the number of new cases we've been seeing over the past few weeks.

MAP: Florida coronavirus cases by county

"We've been doing an awful lot of testing these last couple weeks. An awful lot, especially this past week. So when you do more testing, you're going to have more cases," said Dr. Jay Wolfson with USF Health.

Friday was the first day of phase two. Bars and entertainment venues, like movie theaters and bowling alleys, were allowed to reopen with restrictions. Stores and gyms were also able to start operating at full capacity.

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"At the gym, don't be gross,” Feeney said. “And the people who work in the bar industry, I'm hoping they're taking the right precaution.”

As the state continues to work towards a full reopening, and as hundreds gather to protest in close proximity, doctors say now is not the time to ease up on preventative measures like social distancing and wearing masks.

"We still have to be careful because those healthy people, or healthier people, who are having less acute responses are still capable of bringing the disease home," said Dr. Wolfson.

Doctors are still encouraging the public to stay vigilant. "This is a known armed and dangerous killer who has expressed its intention to do us harm," said Wolfson. "And we cannot become complacent, we can't let our guards down."

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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