FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida has become the first state to surpass 3,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No other state has even 2,000 variant cases and only two (Michigan and Minnesota) have reached 1,000.
The CDC’s latest data shows 3,191 cases of the U.K. (B.1.1.7) strain, up from 2,351 in the previous numbers from the end of last week.
In addition, Florida has found 64 cases of the Brazilian (P.1) variant (up from 55) and 24 cases of the South African (B.1.351) strain (up from 16).
The Florida Department of Health continues to hold back data specifying 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 feared that the variants being detected in Florida could spread after spring break visitors return home to their respective states.
“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 last week. “Those variants are going to happen as a result of increased replication ... increased bodies that it is inhabiting.”
To see the latest CDC variant data, click here.