FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Another 85 cases of people infected with COVID-19 variants have been detected in Florida this week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That figure itself is more than many states have uncovered in total and raises the number of verified variant cases in Florida to 2,415.
Only one other state has more than 1,000 confirmed variant cases (Michigan, with 1,242).
The latest CDC numbers show 2,351 cases of the U.K. (B.1.1.7) strain in Florida, an increase of 77 since the start of the week.
Florida now has 49 cases of the Brazilian (P.1) variant (+7 since Sunday) and 15 cases of the South African (B.1.351) strain (+1).
The Florida Department of Health continues to hold back data on the counties where these cases are located despite repeated requests from Local 10 News.
Each time those numbers have been revealed in the past, the highest concentration of cases has been in South Florida.
Infectious disease experts have urged the public not to let its guard down despite COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available.
“All a virus wants to do is find a body, start replicating, make more copies of itself,” Dr. Bindu Mayi of Nova Southeastern University told Local 10 News this week. “Those variants are going to happen as a result of increased replication ... increased bodies that it is inhabiting.”
There is also fear that the variants being detected in high numbers in Florida could spread after spring break visitors return home to their respective states.