COVID-19 sub-variant positivity rates, rise across South Florida

MIAMI – The new COVID-19 sub-variants, BA. 4 and BA.5 are behind the latest new surge in South Florida.

The new variants originate from South Arica and are now in South Florida.

The Premier Medical Laboratory Services, said they found three cases in Miami-Dade.

“They are much more transmissible and infectious in individuals than all the previous strains that we’ve seen,” FIU Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Aileen Marty said.

Dr. Marty said the difference is that now more people have significant immunity, but over time, that immunity drops and opens up the door to the new sub-variants which seem to have less difficulty entering our cells.

“BA.4 and BA.5 replicate more efficiently within our cells so we produce more virus. therefore we’re shedding a lot of viral material that other people can be infected with,” Dr. Marty said.

This is the reason why the positive COVID-19 numbers are going up.

In Miami-Dade the positivity rate is 22 percent and in Broward it’s almost 23 percent.

However if you’re vaccinated and boosted you’re likely not going to end up in the hospital.

“76 percent of the cases in our hospitals right now are people who have never been vaccinated,” Dr. Marty said.

Back on May 23, the Jackson Health Care System had 84 COVID-19 patients, now that number has gone up to 137.

“We’re again seeing an increase but the severity is not so, so bad,” Jackson Memorial Chief Medical Director Dr. Hany Atallah said.

Both doctors agree, people must be vigilant when it comes to COVID-19 and strongly suggest getting vaccinated.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.