Florida coronavirus cases surge by 50% as the surge continues

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (AP)

Florida coronavirus cases surged 50% this week, the state health department reported Friday, continuing the six-week surge, causing one-fifth of new infections nationwide and the epicenter of the outbreak. became.

The release came shortly after Governor Ron DeSantis banned the school district from requiring students to wear masks when classes resumed next month, saying there was no evidence to prevent the outbreak of students or staff.

More than 110,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported throughout the state in the past week, up 11-fold from 73,000 last week to 10,000 reported in the week of June 11, six weeks ago. .. We are back to the number of cases in January just before vaccination became widely available.

The Florida Hospital Association also said Friday that state-wide COVID-19 hospitalizations were approaching last year’s peak. The number of hospitalized patients has exceeded 9,300, up from 1,845 a month ago and approaching the record 10,179 set on July 23, 2020. Florida currently has more patients hospitalized than any other state.

The state reported 409 deaths this week, for a total of more than 39,000 since the first death in March 2020. The state peak occurred in mid-August 2020, killing 1,266 people in seven days. Deaths usually follow an increase in hospitalization weeks.

DeSantis has blamed the surge in seasonal growth – more Floridians are indoors due to the hot weather with air conditioners circulating the virus. Approximately 60% of Floridians over the age of 12 are vaccinated and are ranked almost in the middle of the state. DeSantis said banning mask obligations at school would improve the student experience and make it easier for them to focus on learning.

“I have (three) young children. My wife and I are not going to wear masks with the children. We never have, we do. The children laugh. DeSantis said at a press conference in southwestern Florida hours before signing an executive order. DeSantis is aiming for re-election next year and nationwide for the 2024 presidential election. However, his critics have accused him of not wanting to require masks, such as an executive order banning mask requirements in public schools.

“Masks are a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of the virus, and from a medical point of view, it makes no sense to discourage the use of masks,” said the director of the Florida Medical Protection Commission. Dr. Bernard Ashby said. “DeSantis power grabs endanger the health of children and teachers alike.”

The DeSantis decision came after the Broward County Board of Education voted to request a mask and other districts and universities in the state were considering it.

“We need to change our policies,” Broward’s board member, Devi Hixson, told Sun-Sentinel in South Florida. “I’m not going against the governor. I think it’s an irresponsible decision, but if it’s a law, I agree to follow it.”

The Florida Education Association, a state teachers union, said Desantis should leave the decision to local civil servants rather than imposing a state-wide edict. When the pandemic began in March 2020, DeSantis said that the business closure and mask obligations imposed in Miami, Tampa and other large cities would not work in small rural counties, local authorities managed to respond. Said you need to.

“Gov. DeSantis continues to believe that Tallahassee knows best what every Floridian needs,” union president Andrew Spar said in a statement. “We reject such ideas. Instead, we ask Governor DeSantis to allow elected city, county, and school district leaders to make health and safety decisions in the community, all in Florida. I request that the citizens of Florida be able to speak. “

Meanwhile, Publix, the state’s largest supermarket chain, announced on Friday that employees will need to wear masks again, and some hospitals have postponed elective surgery and restricted visitors. Said.

At Tampa General Hospital, more than 90 patients admitted with COVID have already surpassed a record 86, said Dr. Seetha Lakshmi, director of medical care at the Global Emerging Infectious Diseases Institute. She said, like many, hospitals couldn’t hire enough staff, tired working people.

“We feel like we’re hit by a train. The pace is so fast and uncontrolled,” said Laskshmi. “I have no words anymore. This is terrible, just terrible, and it will be terrible.”

She said last year that the median age of patients was in their 70s. Now just over 50, younger patients are more ill than before.

She pointed to a patient in her early thirties whose lungs “sound like velcro.” The father of a young child, she said, is likely to suffer permanent damage and may eventually require a transplant.

She said that while 83% of Tampa General COVID patients are unvaccinated, other patients have immunodeficiency problems that do not work.

Since March 2020, more than 38,000 Floridians have died of COVID.

Florida coronavirus cases surge by 50% as the surge continues

Source link Florida coronavirus cases surge by 50% as the surge continues

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