CDC: COVID risk remains low in South Florida, use face masks anyway

FILE - Wenderson Cerisene, 7, right, and his sister Dorah, 9, wait to be tested for COVID-19, Aug. 31, 2021, in North Miami, Fla. In interviews with The Associated Press, close to 50 school leaders, teachers, parents and health officials reflected on decisions to keep students in extended online learning, especially during the spring semester of 2021. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File) (Marta Lavandier, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

MIAMI – The level of COVID-19 cases was low in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data tracker on Wednesday, yet the CDC was still encouraging the use of face masks.

Seasonal influenza and respiratory syncytial virus activity remained high, so CDC Director Rochelle Walensky warned the public that more gatherings indoors and the changes in temperature are “good for respiratory viruses, and bad for symptoms.”

Walensky also encouraged the public “to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.”

At 13.6%, the COVID-19 new case positivity rate in Broward was among the highest in the state, according to The Florida Department of Health’s report on cases from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1. Miami-Dade showed a 13.3% new case positivity rate.

Omicron continues to mutate. The CDC has been tracking XBB, a new subvariant of omicron, in Florida. Its proportion around the country remains at 5.5% and BQ1.1 and BQ1 still make up over 60% of the cases.

COVID-19 was the cause of death for 34 more people during that period in Florida — increasing the state’s total death toll to 83,201. The pandemic’s death toll in Miami-Dade was 6,472 and 3,079 in Broward.

The state’s case fatality rate since the pandemic began was 1.2% for the general population and nearly 6% for patients who were aged 65 or older, according to the FDOH’s latest report.

Statewide

New COVID case positivity rate: 11.4%

New COVID cases: 18,761

Miami-Dade

New case positivity rate: 13.3%

New cases: 4,876

Broward

New case positivity rate: 13.6%

New cases: 1,907

Monroe

New case positivity rate: 6.9%

New cases: 31


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.