By Karli Barnett

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida has seen a resurgence of the coronavirus and that is alarming experts. Broward and Miami-Dade counties have seen positivity rate increases of more than five percent, and more than 9 percent in Monroe.

“We are still seeing cases and they are now rising in our hospitals, here in Miami-Dade,” explains Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Aileen Marty. “We are actually seeing an increase in cases again.”

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According to the most recent report from the Florida Department of Health, new case positivity more than doubled in the course of three weeks, from 3.8%, June 18th to 7.8% on July 2nd.

”Younger folks who are not vaccinated is where we are seeing the cases the most,” says Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Bhavarth Shukla.

Dr. Shukla says the time of the year plays a role in South Florida.

”We tend to go indoors more in the summer because everyone wants air conditioning. We have a sort of parallel to the north and what they see in the winter when everyone goes indoors,” he says. “That’s something we saw last year, as well.”

Even for those who are fully vaccinated, it is possible to still contract the virus. Though symptoms will be less severe, health experts say people need to be mindful.

“If you are going to go into a crowded, indoor, poorly ventilated space with people that you don’t know their vaccine status, you really ought to be masking,” says Dr. Marty.

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Other factors leading to the increase are the variants. The more COVID spreads, the more it mutates.

According to CDC data, in Florida the Alpha variant, which originated in the U.K., makes up 48% of cases.

The Gamma variant from Brazil makes up 18%.

The Delta variant which originated in India makes up 13%.

The Delta is now the dominant strain in the United States and is of particular concern.

“Because it’s so much more efficient at getting into our cells and causing disease and reproducing, you don’t need as many particles a virus entering your body to get you sick,” says Dr. Marty. “Especially if you’re unvaccinated.”

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As cases have gone up, vaccinations over the last few weeks in Florida have gone down. According to the Florida Department of Health report, in the span of three weeks, the number of doses administered went down by about 35%.

Karli Barnett