VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — In Volusia County, one health clinic director said she’s seeing positive COVID-19 tests skyrocket.
What You Need To Know
- COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country
- The director of the Deland Wellness Center says she has seen the increase firsthand
- She says the number of positive cases at the center has gone from one ever couple weeks to 19 in two days
Julie Gennaro is the director of the Deland Wellness Center, where lately staff members have been swamped with swabbing for COVID-19.
She shared video showing lines for tests wrapping around the center's building and backing into the parking lot.
“Between yesterday and today, we’ve seen 19 positive cases," said Gennaro. "That’s a huge jump from going from basically having one positive case every couple of weeks, to now having 19 positive cases in two days.”
Her clinic is seeing a trend, that she thinks, points in the direction of a need for masks and social distancing.
“This is fascinating. Last year, we were testing, like I said, about 100 to 150 people a day, and our positivity rate was not that high. And there were all these extreme mask mandates and social distancing," she said. "Now here we are, and we’re at almost every other person walking through the clinic doors that are testing positive for COVID-19. A lot of patients that we are seeing are adolescents and children. “
Even though most of her concern centers around children and the unvaccinated, she raised an eyebrow when she started seeing some fully vaccinated people testing positive.
“Their symptoms are all pretty much the same," said Gennaro. "Runny nose, itchy watery eyes. It almost presents itself as a sinus infection. It’s not really presenting itself as the other COVID patients that we’re seeing.”
Those cases are minor, which is why health experts agree, everyone should get the vaccine.
If a person is fully vaccinated, their chances of catching COVID-19 are very low.
“What we’re learning about these breakthrough infections is that they’re mostly clinically insignificant. They’re really mild to no symptoms, and not really associated with high enough viral loads for transmission," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Deming is urging everyone, vaccinated or not unvaccinated, to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces.
Gennaro says she hopes soon, Volusia leaders will do the same.
Anyone wanting to find out where free testing is offered, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites.
Meanwhile, emergency managers in Brevard and Seminole counties are issuing warnings amid case levels mirroring those at the height of the pandemic in the fall.
Officials say Brevard County recorded more than 1,400 cases last week, compared to nearly 250 cases during one week in the beginning of June. The data shows most of the people testing positive now are between 20 and 40 years old, which is a trend Florida is seeing statewide.
In Seminole County, COVID-19 hospitalizations jumped from the 80 range last week to more than 135 patients on Wednesday and about 95% of them are unvaccinated, according to County Public Information Officer Ashley Moore.
The Seminole County Emergency Operations Center scaled up operations last week after scaling them down June 18, says Moore.
Reporter Rebecca Turco contributed to this story.