By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Fall surge in COVID-19 cases has arrived in the United States. Eight states have broken single-day records this week.

One is Wisconsin where President Trump is scheduled to have a rally Saturday. Ohio is seeing an increase of patients in the hospital. In California, Disneyland is still closed.

“This is exactly how it happened in June. We started seeing these blips and then it got way ahead of us,” Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo said.

Dr. Carrasquillo is with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He just warned state health leaders this week. The health expert has noticed the number of cases in Florida increase too much, in a few days.

“I’m just seeing some worrisome blips in the Florida data as well. So, I say we need to act like it is going to hit us,” Carrasquillo said.

Statewide in the last two weeks, there have been four days of more than 3,000 reported cases. As of Friday, Broward County’s two-week average positivity rate for new infections is 3.28%. It’s 4.62% in Miami-Dade. Both are under 5%. Anything above that, leaders say that’s too high.

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“In the Winter, we are expecting a very nice season. Why? Because they need somewhere to get relaxed,” Marija Banjac said.

Banjac doesn’t want to see a surge in South Florida. She manages Rakija Grill in Downtown Miami and a lounge in Miami Beach. This business leader is still trying to make up for lost time and money.  She hopes the Winter season will usher a rush of new diners.

“The most tourists on the street were from the cruise industry. We don’t have the visitors,” Banjac said.

With empty cruise ships and vacant hotel rooms, the number of people filling restaurants Downtown has dropped. That’s one reason she doesn’t want to go back to strict guidelines.

Dr. Carrasquillo says as long as we follow current recommendations to slow the spread, he says life will get better.

“We are hoping the vaccines will be ready sometime next year. That and with proven measures, we will get over this. It’s just going to take a little longer. But I want people to understand I have full confidence we will get over this,” the doctor said.

The restaurant manager says she was initially only prepared for a two-week closure during the shutdown. She wasn’t expecting it longer.

The doctor says current models show a possible spike in late October or early November. But if people take the precautions necessary, that can be avoided.

Ty Russell

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