COVID-19 cases are suddenly on the rise again in South Florida, doctors warning of a summer surge

Broward Health Coral Springs Emergency Room COVID-19 Testing — Courtesy: Shutterstock — YES Market Media

COVID-19 positive case rates are rising once again in South Florida with over 28,000 cases in the past week alone. Although there has been an increase in visits to the ER, doctors say their hospitals aren’t too stressed.

According to a New York Times investigation, the number of new cases in Monroe County has jumped by more than 260 percent in the last two weeks. County data shows the positivity rate in Miami-Dade County has reached 11 percent.

According to doctors in South Florida, people aren’t getting as severely sick as they were during other surges, but warn there is a possibility to see a summer wave due to an omicron subvariant overseas.

“We had gotten down to maybe three a day, we are now up to 15 a day, maybe 20 a day that are testing positive,” Chief Medical Officer of the Memorial Healthcare System Dr. Marc Napp said.

Napp says the numbers have increased little by little, but there is no need to worry.

“The numbers of hospitalizations have gone up a very slight bit, as well. We had been as low as 50, maybe a little bit shy of that. We are now up into the high 50′s–nothing like what we had seen at the peak when we had over 760,” Napp said.

There are 43 COVID patients across four Jackson Health System Hospitals.

“We’ve had certainly an uptick in the ER visits with regards to COVID-19 and COVID-like symptoms, but the hospitalizations have not materialized,” Chief Medical Officer at Jackson North Medical Center Dr. O’Neil Pyke said.

Broward Health hospitals are doing a bit better with only 19 patients across their four hospitals.

Researchers and health experts are following two other omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, which are linked to a spike in South Africa.

“If this BA.4 does come to the United States and BA.5, we may see another wave in the early part of this summer, June or July, as we have in the previous couple of years. I don’t think we are going to get to a level that our hospitals or healthcare providers can’t handle,” FIU infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty said.

A doctor from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital says he has seen more kids test positive but has not seen as many admissions as he had in the previous coronavirus waves.

The increase in cases is leading to several more disruptions at work, home, and school. Several employers are grappling with staff shortages, modest increases in workers calling in sick, and stores, restaurants, and schools struggling to cover shifts.

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