New White House task force report warns of new coronavirus surge in Florida

MIAMI – In a new report, the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned 70% of the counties in Florida are displaying moderate to high levels of community spread.

Epidemiologists attribute the new silent spread to asymptomatic young people who are unknowingly exposing more vulnerable groups.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert with Florida International University, said she is worried about people who might be getting complacent.

“We are going back on another upswing,” Marty said. “There’s no doubt about it”

Staff members wait to greet parents dropping off their children for class, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, at the Carrie P. Meek/Westview K-8 Center in Miami. Miami-Dade County Public Schools opened Monday for those that chose in-person learning for students in Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade, along with students with special needs. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Wednesday was the fourth consecutive day that the Florida Department of Health reported more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases. The list included Miami-Dade County’s nearly 700 new cases and Broward County’s more than 400 new cases.

The new task force report also notes there have also been increases in hospitalizations. More than 95% of Florida hospitals reported treating patients with Covid-19. The report suggests that ensuring flu immunizations could also help to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

A sign informs customers at the Edison Hotel restaurant about wearing a protective face mask during the coronavirus pandemic, Friday, July 24, 2020, along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Fla. Masks are mandated both indoors and outdoors in Miami Beach. People found not wearing a mask are subject to a civil fine of $50. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Marty said South Florida residents need to remember it is still important to wear face masks, hand wash frequently and practice social distancing.

“There is no question that pandemic fatigue has set in,” Marty said.

Marty said not practicing these measures during family reunions and meetings with friends is dangerous. Transmissions among loved ones are the main sources of outbreaks during the pandemic.

Marty’s request: “Please, please, please keep yourselves safe! It’s so important.”

FILE - In this July 17, 2020 file photo, a senior citizen holds the hand of a care coordinator at a Health facility in Miami. Federal health officials on Friday unveiled a plan to get approved coronavirus vaccines to nursing home residents free of cost, with the aid of two national pharmacy chains. No vaccine has yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and the distribution program is contingent on that happening first. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

About the Authors:

Layron Livingston made the move from Ohio's Miami Valley to Miami, Florida, to join the Local 10 News team.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.