People's 'behavior' over holiday weekend key to keeping COVID-19 at bay, experts say

The seven-day rolling average of positive COVID-19 cases across Florida is at its lowest point since the beginning of June, according to data from the Florida Department of Health, recorded by Dr. Tom Unnasch, a public health professor at the University of South Florida.

However, as Americans look forward to a long Labor Day weekend, experts are reminding the public of the spike in cases after Memorial Day weekend.

"I was reaching a panic point, to tell you the truth, I was considering we were going to be in really bad shape here," said Dr. Unnasch. "Through the month of June, we were doubling once a week in Hillsborough County, which was really scary."  

During the second week of June, data from the DOH showed a seven-day rolling average of positive cases in the state at about 1,200 per day.

By the end of June, that number quadrupled.

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Mask mandates went into effect in Hillsborough County on June 22 and in Pinellas County on June 24.

"We went from doubling every 10 days to flattening out for about three weeks, to now a point where we've been declining for several weeks, almost two months, actually," Dr. Unnasch said.

Unnasch says people will have to continue to wear masks and avoid large gatherings, especially indoors, throughout the holiday weekend in order for the number of positive COVID-19 cases to continue declining.