ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Florida is seeing a record number of new COVID-19 cases and experts said this trend will continue.
“We’re seeing a record number of cases globally and in many states, in the U.S. we’re seeing record cases,” Dr. Ali Mokdad said. “It produces once inside the human body 70 times faster than what we have seen before and that’s inciting more infections.”
Mokdad is studying the spread of COVID-19. His projections are used around the world, including by the White House.
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He said his models show we could reach the peak of the omicron wave by mid-January.
“It will peak so fast in the United States. People who are vaccinated and people who received a booster will less likely end up in a hospital. We know that for sure. People who are not vaccinated will be at a higher risk,” Mokdad said.
Dr. Mokdad said the drop will happen just as fast. He said the wave could be over by the end of January.
“It will be fast-moving, so it will drop as fast as it peaks simply because it’s spreading so fast and it will run out of people to infect,” he said.
Dr. Mokdad said even though the omicron variant isn’t as severe, his biggest concern is the new strain overwhelming hospitals.
Florida is seeing a rise in hospitalizations. The CSC reported nearly 4,500 people were being treated for COVID-19 on Thursday.
“About 40% of Americans will be infected by omicron. That means that we’re going to have the same number of cases in three months as many as we’ve had in the past two years,” Mokdad said.
Dr. Mokdad said projections show we could be in a better position by March.
“The combination of vaccination and infection will give us a cushion for a while unless we have a new variant that’s making the vaccines less effective and it’s a variant that doesn’t have cross variant immunity, so the previous infection will not protect you from it,” he said.
Mokdad adds we could see an end to COVID-19 in 2022.
“It will never go away. It will become endemic like what we’re seeing with the Spanish Flu. We still have H1N1 right now, but we’re not shutting down our economy and we’re not overwhelming our hospitals,” he said.