By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A sobering warning Wednesday from CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Dr. Redfield said now is the time that we must all recommit to COVID mitigation efforts. He added that the rising infections will put increased stress on our health care system.

The rate of coronavirus infections in South Florida continues to increase.

In Miami-Dade, the two-week average for new cases is 8.35%. In Broward, it’s 7.02%.

“Can our hospital capacity cope with 8%? Yes, it can. Can our hospital capacity cope with 25% positivity? Absolutely not,” said Broward Mayor Steve Geller.

Geller knows as cases increase there’s a concern the number of new patients in hospitals will follow.

In Broward, Wednesday’s dashboard showed about 450 COVID-19 patients, with 20% of the non-ICU beds still available.

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In Miami-Dade, the latest data from Tuesday showed about 30% of beds still available, and about 800 people in the hospital.

Because of Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays, Geller is concerned.

“I’m afraid that between the Thanksgiving holidays and the other Christmas parties and New Year’s, that by January 10th, our numbers (positivity rate) will be back in the double digits,” he said.

Geller admits infection and hospital rates are down from the June high. But he wants to protect business, frontline workers and families – especially since it’s likely a vaccine is on the way. So, he’s asking you to do your part.

“Even if they don’t care about wearing a mask to protect themselves, be patriotic. Do the right thing. Protect your family, protect your parents and grandparents,” he said.

Ty Russell