According to WESH.com, new projections claim Florida has the “markings of the next epicenter” of the coronavirus, days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis denied the fact that Florida is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“You have to look at what’s happening right now, and what we’re seeing right now is a high percent increase in cases,” said Cindy Prins, epidemiology professor at the University of Central Florida.
This past week, the state of Florida has seen more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day.
According to CNN, new data from scientists in Pennsylvania shows Florida with “all the markings of the next large epicenter.”
DeSantis has stated the numbers can be explained by a rise in expanded testing, and isolated outbreaks.
“There are people that have no symptoms at all that get tested by the thousands, every single day, with an illness where most of the infections are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic that’s something that’s very significant,” DeSantis said.
“We did have an increase in testing from a couple of weeks ago, if you look at sort of a weekly pattern of testing, but what I’m seeing now is that an increase in cases is outpacing an increase in testing,” Prins said. “People need to understand that this is not before the pandemic. This is trying to exist within the conditions of a pandemic.”
Desantis also pointed to a low hospitalization rate.
“The whole time we’ve been considering, ‘what is the capacity of our hospitals?’ for dealing with COVID-19, but in my opinion, we don’t want to hit capacity, we want to keep these case levels as low as we possibly can,” Prins said.
Prins has said that there is a way to be outside and navigate reopening safely, but for that to happen, people need to keep avoiding crowds and wearing masks, among other things.
“Always assume that there may be someone around who is positive, and think about, if there is, ‘am I going to get infected by what I’m doing right now?'” Prins said.
Prins said people should make an effort to get their advice from health experts.
She said the number to pay attention to when following the patterns is the percentage of increase in cases regarding the death rate.
She also said the death rate lags behind the case count, itself.