Broward concerned about the type of coronavirus patients county is seeing

"The people that can least afford to be ill are the ones getting sick or catching this virus,” Broward Mayor Dale Holness says.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – While hospitals in Broward County say they aren’t overwhelmed yet, there is major concern from local leaders who are seeing a disturbing trend.

Broward Mayor Dale Holness says the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases in his county is incredibly concerning, but what is even more distressing to him is who is getting sick.

“The people that can least afford to be ill are the ones getting sick or catching this virus,” Holness said Thursday.

In fact, three of the five zip codes in Broward with the highest rates of positive tests — 33311, 33023 and 33313 — also have some of the lowest employment, education and income rates in the county.

Holness says they plan to focus the funds they receive from the federal government to those kinds of communities.

The latest data from the state released Thursday shows 367 new cases of COVID-19 in Broward, bringing the county’s total to 12,584. With one new death confirmed, Broward has lost 379 people as a result of the pandemic.

“There is increased spread, there’s no doubt about it,” Holness said. “Yes, there’s increased testing also, but the positivity rate is up to 10%. That tells you that even though we’re testing more, we’re seeing more people at a higher percentage of testing, testing positive.”

Hospitalization rates are rising as well, but so far Broward’s biggest healthcare systems say they aren’t overwhelmed, according to the mayor.

“They’re seeing increases,” he said. “It’s not as sharp as it was before and the hospital stays are shorter, and primarily because the age group is getting younger that are being affected.”

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.