LAKELAND, Fla. - The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida is on the rise. According to the Florida Department of Health, one out of five people being tested in Florida is positive for COVID-19. In Polk County, it is closer to one out of four.
"That means transmission is very high," Dr. Hal Escowitz of Lakeland Regional Health, told FOX 13. "It is a contagious virus. It is a very hearty virus. It replicates very well. It is very resistant to the body’s innate defenses and vaccination."
Even with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, you can still catch BA.5, a COVID-19 Omicron subvariant.
Although it is not as virulent as previous variants, according to people who have struggled with it, it is no walk in the park.
"I feel like my sinuses were competing with Niagara Falls. It was bad," said Kimberly Moore. "I took a lot of NyQuil and some Sudafed. It really hasn’t gone into my chest, and I am grateful for that."
Dr. Escowitz said Lakeland Regional Health has had a couple patients in the ICU on ventilators. Escowitz advises that in high transmission areas, such as Polk and Hillsborough counties, people are ultra-vigilant, and wear a mask in indoor public places and in crowds.
"I think it is important to understand this is not gone," he saidd.