TAMPA, Fla. — COVID-19 cases in Florida are on the rise again and doctors say there’s a fear right now that if numbers continue to trend upward, we could be heading into another phase of the pandemic.
“We’ve definitely increased as the days have gone on and the weeks have gone on in the wrong direction. So our concern is that watching those case numbers go up, what we know comes with that again is hospitalizations,” said Dr. Jason Wilson, Associate Director of Tampa General Hospital’s Emergency Department.
Wilson says there’s a fear right now we could be heading into another wave of the pandemic.
“Anytime we see an increase in the number of cases, what follows is an increase in the number of hospitalizations. I think it’s a really important concept for people to understand because whether we’re testing more or not, whether it’s a lot of cases or not, the key is hospitalizations follow and people get sick,” said Wilson.
After a decrease in cases for a few months, this past month experts have seen that number go up significantly.
Another big concern doctors have and are now learning more about is the long term impacts of the virus some can have for months after they get it.
“We’re seeing that now from patients we saw back in March and April that were still having to follow through the clinic system because of lung problems and other just sort of issues of just not feeling back to themselves yet. This is even in young people who didn’t have any medical problems. That gets lost sometimes in the numbers,” said Wilson.
“The fact that we don’t know everything about this virus is why we’re still in a place where we have to keep on thinking about true and evidence-based public strategies because those are safest for our population,” he added.
Experts say now is the time for people to stay on top of mitigation efforts.
“We’re in a critical time. We’re in a place where the virus count is higher than it was two months ago — and it’s way higher than it was in March, April, and May. Two to three times higher than it was, so we want to avoid a June or July, or if we want to keep on getting closer to some type of semblance of normal life we’ve got to keep on doing all these things we have to do,” said Wilson.