Friday, May 27th, 2022

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With COVID-19 cases increasing at an alarming rate across the country, Florida broke its single-day record for new coronavirus cases not once, but twice over the holiday weekend.

On Christmas Day, 32,850 new COVID-19 cases from Dec. 24 were reported in the Sunshine State, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That number broke the state’s previous record – set just the day before on Christmas Eve, when 31,758 new cases were reported from Dec. 23.

These new pandemic records far outpaced Florida’s previous record for new COVID-19 cases in a single day when more than 27,000 new cases were reported in August during the height of the state’s delta variant surge.

The current jump in cases, like the rest of the U.S., is driven by the new omicron variant.

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“Omicron is 10 [times] more potent at causing reinfection than previous variants — protection from prior infection is not as good as protection from triple” vaccination, Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious-disease expert at Florida International University, told the Miami Herald.

Related Story: Walgreens, CVS, Amazon Limit COVID-19 Tests For FL Shoppers

Florida had a new case positivity rate of 13.8 percent from Dec. 17-23, according to the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report. During that period, 125,201 new coronavirus cases and 28 deaths were reported.

That’s a significant jump from the previous week, Dec. 10-16, when Florida saw a positivity rate of just 5.4 percent with 29,568 new cases and 39 deaths, according to state data. From Dec. 3-9, only 13,530 cases, a 2.6 percent positivity rate and 36 deaths were reported.

Dr. Larry Bush, an infectious disease expert in South Florida, told WPBF that there are likely even more new COVID-19 cases in Florida than have been reported because of at-home testing kits.

“Quite a few people are being diagnosed at home, are not sick enough to go to a hospital or to an urgent care,” he said. “Therefore, they’re not counted.”

Bush expects the COVID-19 surge to continue in Florida and said there could be as many as 150,000

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