TAMPA, Fla. — Florida broke its record, again, for the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases.
The Florida Department of Health reported `19,816 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, Jan. 7. On Wednesday, Jan. 6, the state reported `17,783 new cases.
Jason Salemi is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of South Florida. He tracks statewide data related to COVID-19.
His data may be found here.
"All of the numbers continue to trend in a negative direction, but in all honestly after we saw what was transpiring during the holidays not just in Florida, but across the nation, it really is to be expected," said Salemi.
Salemi said the 7-day trend in reported deaths statewide is 118 deaths. It is the highest 7-day average since mid-September.
However, due to the lag between when a death occurs and when it is reported, it is hard to fully understand trends in deaths that have actually occurred in the past few weeks, he said.
Dr. Jason Wilson is a physician at Tampa General Hospital. He is also an Associate Professor at USF Health.
He said the COVID-19 section of the emergency room remains busy with COVID-19 patients.
"Right now, we're having a very busy time now. It doesn't look as bad as June and July at this moment, but we're very worried about moving right back into June and July," said Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson said the hospital works to get people out of the emergency room and back home safely.
"We are much better than we were in March about how to treat COVID-19 patients and who actually needs to be in the hospital," he said.
He said crowded places remain likely locations where people may contract the virus.
"The big risk factor locations are crowded indoor spaces often indoor restaurants," he said. "Houses as well, especially, things like big house parties that was something that drove some of the summer surges. We saw graduation parties in June, big spreading events."
He said people let their guard down during the holidays.
"We think this is family. This is close, close friends, people we see maybe more often," said Dr. Wilson.
He encourages people to get their flu shot, practice social distancing and wear a mask.
"We know now that there is good data that shows simply wearing a mask brings down the transmission rates."