Experts think Florida could be the next COVID-19 epicenter. Here’s why

News 6 found Florida's COVID-19 positivity rate has increased in past week alone

As COVID-19 cases drop, doctors urge residents to stay vigilant
As COVID-19 cases drop, doctors urge residents to stay vigilant

On Thursday, Florida saw its largest jump in newly reported cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 3,207 new cases reported -- a number rivaling and smashing records not seen even when the state first shut down to control the spread of the disease.

Researchers have sounded the alarm, saying Florida has “all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission,” and risks being the “worst it has ever been,” according to projections from a model by scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, CNN reported.

“That makes me very worried because, at the numbers they’re now seeing, it’s very easy to start doubling and lose control of the epidemic,” Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN on Thursday.

Rubin says these predictions are backed up by cases confirmed in Florida and are further justified by the rising rates of hospitalizations from Tampa to Orlando to Miami-Dade County and up the east and west coasts of the state.

“The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences” because of the state’s aging population and the prevalence of nursing homes and retirement communities, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN in an interview.

CNN also recognized that Gov. Ron DeSantis is among other state leaders who continue to attribute the rising to increased testing and other variables, while counties across the state say demand for testing has decreased while positivity rates have been on the rise.

[UPDATE: Track Florida’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests]

The state of Florida saw a 12.55% daily positive rate for coronavirus on Thursday. (WKMG)

News 6 broke down the positivity rates for COVID-19 testing in the Central Florida region and found that there was a pronounced increase in the coronavirus test positivity rate from just the day before.

The state of Florida saw a 12.55% daily positive rate for coronavirus on Thursday. The rate on Wednesday was 10.25%. On Tuesday, it was 9.24%.

This is the highest daily positive rate for COVID-19 tests in the month of June.

The latest daily data from the Florida Department of Health shows 3,207 patients out of 25,556 people tested positive for COVID-19.

CNN reported that according to data from Johns Hopkins University 23 states are seeing upward trends in newly reported cases from one week to the next: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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