Florida adds 50K COVID cases over 3 days as leaders fight misinformation

‘We are going to find ourselves in a very dark place,’ Hialeah mayor says

COVID-19 hospitalizations have soared to new highs in Florida, and elected leaders and medical experts are urging the community to get vaccinated.

HIALEAH, Fla. – In a community that has been a consistent statewide COVID-19 case leader, the mayor of Hialeah has taken to the Spanish-language airwaves to combat misinformation and, as he says, promote non-partisan public health tools aimed at tamping down transmission.

“That we have to be vaccinated and we have to start wearing our masks again, because if not we are going to find ourselves in a very dark place,” Mayor Carlos Hernandez said Tuesday of his message. “We are almost there now.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that Florida added more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, raising the seven-day average to one of the highest counts since the pandemic began. In total, the state has seen more than 2.6 million cases and 39,179 deaths.

The state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have climbed to the highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

A look at the COVID-19 hospitalizations trend in 2020 compared to 2021. (Florida Hospital Association graphic)

“Here we go again with another surge,” said Marc Lotter of the Florida Hospital Association.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday in a visit to South Florida that “I don’t think we’ve reached the peak yet.”

As the number of mostly unvaccinated COVID patients continues to put pressure on hospital bed capacity, children’s hospitals say they are seeing more kids fall sick with the virus.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital reports 12 pediatric patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday. Of those, two are in the ICU.

Holtz Children’s Hospital says it has three, all of which have serious underlying conditions. One is in the pediatric ICU.

“It’s just absolutely heartbreaking to have to place young children in the ICU,” said Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University.

[ALSO SEE: What should I know about the delta variant?]

The Florida Hospital Association is making a call for all eligible to get a vaccine to get one — including frontline healthcare workers.

“The one thing we need right now in the state of Florida in our hospitals is our doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists, by the bedside,” Lotter said. “We need you by the hospital bed, not in a hospital bed.”

Hialeah is launching a new vaccine site at Babcock Park, which opens Wednesday.

Broward County opens a new testing site at Markham Park on Wednesday after just opening another at Tradewinds Park

For information on where COVID-19 vaccines and testing are available across 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."