Florida COVID surge: 18,000+ new cases from weekend as omicron spreads

(Marta Lavandier, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida reported an increase of 18,404 COVID-19 infections from the past two days, according to the latest data posted Monday by the CDC.

It equates to over 9,000 new cases uncovered Saturday and Sunday, continuing the upward trend driven by the contagious omicron variant.

The state had been averaging fewer than 2,000 new cases per day from late October through early December.

More than 8,000 new cases were found both Thursday and Friday in Florida.

Last week, Florida‘s health department reported over twice as many new cases as the week before. The state’s new-case positivity rate also jumped from 2.6% to 5.4%.

Positivity rates were particularly high in South Florida, with Miami-Dade County at 7%, Broward County at 6.9%, Palm Beach County at 6.5% and Monroe County at 6.3% last week, according to the state’s data.

Infectious disease experts say the trend is made more worrisome by the fact that so many people plan to travel and gather with friends and family over the holidays.

Long lines have been seen on recent days at several COVID-19 testing sites across South Florida.

Appearing on Local 10 News’ “This Week in South Florida” on Sunday, Florida International University’s Dr. Aileen Marty stressed the importance of vaccinations — and booster shots.

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