COVID-19 cases on the rise in South Florida, doctors concerned over possible summer surge

Researchers tracking 2 other omicron sub-variants, BA.4 and BA.5, linked to spike in South Africa

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in South Florida, but doctors say people aren't getting nearly as sick as they did in the past surges.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – COVID-19 positive cases are rising in Florida with more than 28,000 cases in the past week alone, and there have been more visits to the ER, but doctors say their hospitals aren’t stressed.

According to South Florida doctors, people aren’t getting as sick as they were with other waves, but warn there is a potential to see a summer surge due to an omicron sub-variant overseas.

“We had gotten down to maybe three a day, we are now up to 15 a day, maybe 20 a day that are testing positive,” Chief Medical Officer of the Memorial Healthcare System Dr. Marc Napp said.

Napp says the numbers have slightly increased, but there is no need to panic.

“The numbers of hospitalizations have gone up a very slight bit, as well. We had been as low as 50, maybe a little bit shy of that. We are now up into the high 50′s -- nothing like what we had seen at the peak when we had over 760,” Napp said.

Across four Jackson Health System Hospitals, there are 43 COVID patients.

“We’ve had certainly an uptick in the ER visits with regards to COVID and COVID-like systems, but the hospitalizations have not materialized,” Chief Medical Officer at Jackson North Medical Center Dr. O’Neil Pyke said.

Broward Health hospitals are fairing better with only 19 patients across their four hospitals.

Health experts and researchers are tracking two other omicron sub-variants, BA.4 and BA.5, linked to a spike in South Africa.

“If this BA.4 does come to the United States and BA.5, we may see another wave in the early part of this summer, June or July, as we have in the previous couple of years. I don’t think we are going to get to a level that our hospitals or healthcare providers can’t handle,” FIU infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty said.

Local 10 reached out to a doctor at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and he says he’s seen more kids test positive, but isn’t seeing as many admissions as he’s had in the previous waves.

About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.