A report from the CDC warns that 60% of all infections are transmitted from someone who is asymptomatic, as COVID-19 cases in Florida continue to spike.
The state of Florida is now in the red zone, according to the weekly White House COVID-19 Task Force report.
This is due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, test positivity, and high levels of community transmission in nearly 90% of the state’s 67 counties. Miami-Dade, Broward and Orange counties—which rank first, second, and third in the number of new cases in Florida—account for 36% of COVID-19 cases in the state. Additionally, the Orlando-Sanford-Kissimmee area saw a 52% increase in COVID-19 cases, compared to the prior week.
This is according to a Jan. 3 White House COVID-19 Task Force report, as well as three others issued in December, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel after the state agreed to settle its lawsuit with the paper over delays in providing the weekly task force reports.
In Full Pandemic Resurgence
“Florida has seen an increase in new cases despite a significant decrease in tests performed, an increase in test positivity, and rapidly rising hospitalizations,” said the report, which warned that “Florida is in full pandemic resurgence and must increase mitigation, along with an active COVID vaccination program to decrease community spread and save lives.”
On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health added 19,816 COVID-19 cases.
In the reports, the task force continues to strongly urge state officials to encourage the use of masks and the practice of physical distancing, hand hygiene, and no indoor gatherings outside of immediate households. The Dec. 13 report also calls for “every American to understand the clear risks of ANY family or friend interactions outside of their immediate household indoors without masks.”
“No unmasked public gatherings are safe and no indoor private gatherings are safe without all members fully masked, unless all members are actively taking the same precautions and regularly test negative,” said the Dec. 27 report.
And on Jan. 3, the task force wrote, “Florida’s post-holiday numbers raise significant concerns with rising test positivity and increasing hospitalizations, suggesting a resurgence of community spread. This requires a combination of aggressive mitigation with further restrictions and substantial acceleration of vaccinations […] Do not delay the rapid immunization of those over 65 and vulnerable to severe disease; recommend creation of high throughput vaccination sites with use of EMT personnel to monitor for potential anaphylaxis […] active and aggressive immunization in the face of this surge would save lives,” said the report.
A Silent Pandemic
The CDC now estimates that around 60% of all infections are transmitted from someone who isn’t showing any symptoms. Health experts told The Washington Post the confirmation from the CDC research team is more evidence that we absolutely need to wear masks, practice all mitigating efforts, and avoid gatherings, even if we aren’t sick.