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COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations once again on the rise in Miami-Dade County

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to surge in Miami-Dade County.
Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to surge in Miami-Dade County.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to surge in Miami-Dade County.

The office of Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said test volumes at all county sites, such as the one in Tropical Park, are up by 112 percent since the July Fourth holiday nearly one month ago.

“We’re starting to see numbers that are higher than last year,” said Key Biscayne Mayor Michael Davey, who added that like Miami-Dade County, the village is choosing to follow the CDC’s advice, re-instating the use of masks while inside government buildings.

“It’s a health issue,” he said. “We are seeing this spike and we have to do what we can slow the spread and flatten the curve. We are worse than we were last summer and that’s both in terms of cases and hospitalizations.”

One bright spot is that more people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Miami-Dade than any other county in the state, but a lag with younger demographics is troubling, according to infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty, because this time around it’s the younger people fulling up hospital beds.

“It is that age group we are seeing in increasing numbers in our hospitals, those unvaccinated people from 12-to-29-to-39,” said Dr. Marty.

On Monday, Marc Lotter with the Florida Hospital Association said while there are more COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide that at any other point in the pandemic, unlike last summer, it is not the Miami-area that is the epicenter, but rather the Jacksonville and Orlando areas that are seeing, in his words, the worst of it.

That said, Miami-area hospitals are, “about two thirds of their peak from the previous pandemic peak, which was last summer,” Lotter said.

They are also monitoring an uptick in pediatric hospital admissions at children’s hospitals across the state.

RELATED LINK: South Florida children’s hospitals report uptick in COVID-19 cases

Lotter said statewide, the ages of admitted Covid patients is skewing younger, with the average age for hospitalized Covid patients being in the early 40′s right now.

He said the takeaway continues to be to get vaccinated, and that includes for healthcare workers he said Floridians need at the bedside, not in a bed.

One way to bring the number of unvaccinated people in hospitals with Covid down is for more community members to get vaccinated.

For information on where COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Florida, click here.

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."