MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida reported less than ten-thousand new coronavirus cases on Sunday for the first time in days.
However, a high percentage of those new cases are coming from South Florida and health experts are warning about a winter surge in the weeks and months to come
“This is not just the worst public health event. This is the worst event that this country will face, not just from a public health side,” said Dr. Deborah Birx with the White House COVID task force. “Every state needs to be critically informing their state population that the gatherings that we saw in Thanksgiving will lead to a surge. It will happen this week and next week. And we can not go into the holiday season, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa with this same kind of attitude, that those, those gatherings don’t apply to me. They apply to everybody.”
“We won’t have a vaccine for even the most vulnerable Americans. I’m thrilled with the vaccine. But we won’t have them for the most vulnerable Americans until February. So we need to do this now,” she added.
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According to a Johns Hopkins University report, more than two thousand Americans are dying daily from the virus.
“We have to really understand how contagious, how infectious this virus is. And it’s really important at this moment in time that everyone understands also how much virus is out there,” said Birx.
In Florida, more than eight thousand cases were added on Sunday with the two-week positivity rate in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe ranging near seven and a half percent and higher.
In Miami-Dade, the two-week positivity rate was eight and a half percent on Sunday. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted the county is responsible for over 25 percent of all new cases in the state.
With Christmas and Hannakuh right around the corner, she said we must act now.
“We must take this extremely seriously. We’re gravely concerned about overwhelming four healthcare system capacity to care for COVID-19 patients,” said Levine Cava.
There are near 1,300 people battling coronavirus in Miami-Dade and Broward hospitals.
Hospitals say they can currently manage today’s number of patients in South Florida, but there’s a concern December and January won’t bring any relief.