New data on Florida’s latest COVID-19 cases show a rapid increase in total confirmed cases, as the state’s seven-day average more than doubled over the last week, from 2,106 cases last Sunday to 4,991 cases yesterday. It’s not clear how many of the new Florida cases were related to the omicron variant, which is now dominating headlines around the world and triggering many governments to respond with controversial lockdowns.
Governor Ron DeSantis has dismissed the call for new lockdowns and said the rise in cases was expected.
“We do anticipate higher levels on January 1, probably higher levels of COVID than November 1, but this is the seasonal pattern,” DeSantis said Friday during an event at the Ocala Regional Medical Center. “And what you’re seeing in the Midwest and the Northeast is almost exactly the same seasonal pattern that they had last year. It’s about three to four weeks behind last year’s schedule, but the rise and the peak and everything is happening very similar to what happened then.”
DeSantis appeared at the hospital to discuss a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody therapy that will be available to immunocompromised people such as cancer patients and transplant recipients.
As of Monday, the number of hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 remained flat over the weekend, though the seven day average for daily admissions is about 212 new patients admitted per day across all Florida hospitals. Total hospitalizations in the state have also been going up over the last ten days, up from 1,093 patients on December 10th, to 1,527 patients as of this morning.
State and national data showed that more than 70 percent of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated, and more than 98 percent had not received a booster. The high rate of so-called “breakthrough” case, roughly 30 percent, is in part driving the push for booster shots.