ORLANDO, Fla. — New coronavirus numbers released by the Florida Department of Health on Tuesday show 3,286 new coronavirus cases in the state of Florida, 65 new deaths, and 206 hospitalizations.
The median age of someone getting sick? 35 years old.
According to UCF College of Medicine Associate Dean Dr. Marcia Katz, the way the number of coronavirus cases are rising means Florida could become the next epicenter of the pandemic.
“That’s scary! That’s really scary, especially for those of us that still can’t be at home full-time and have to go into the community,” said Melissa Todd, who travels to downtown Orlando for work.
Every day, dozens of new numbers related to coronavirus are released, so what numbers should people focus on?
Katz says the most important number is the number of patients in our communities, instead of deaths or hospitalizations, which have trended downward. Katz believes that trend doesn’t necessarily reflect an improvement.
“I think it’s too early to tell. I think that’s guarded optimism. I think the hospitalizations and illness lag behind exposure,” Katz said.
Katz says several recent factors will impact those numbers: Memorial Day weekend, recent Black Lives Matter protests, and Phase 2 — all situations involving crowds in which not everyone was social distancing and wearing masks.
“We’re going to very soon see the continued cases rise in cases. In addition, because we’re in phase 2, we’re going to see an increased rise in the 20-40 year olds because of the bars being open, the restaurants being open,” she explained.
New numbers show while cases are skyrocketing among people 25 to 54, the numbers remain low for deaths.
Data from Florida Dept. of Health shows:
AGE GROUP CASES DEATHS
25- 34 18% 1%
35- 44 16% 2%
45- 54 16% 4%
65- 74 9% 21%
75- 84 6% 28%
85+ 4% 36%
“They may not be as vulnerable in severe illness, but that’s not that they won’t get sick," Katz cautioned. "I think everyone needs to be concerned.”
That concern involves exposure to others, especially more vulnerable populations.
While the percentage of cases involving people 65 and over are in the single digits, they remain the majority of deaths.
Katz says while there is this coronavirus fatigue, we all have to keep wearing masks, remain socially distant, and wash our hands. Otherwise, she does believe the number of cases could cause a strain on our hospitals.
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