In the past seven days, the Florida Department of Health reported 289,204 new COVID-19 cases, a 33 percent decrease from the previous week and the state’s first week-to-week decrease in new infections since November. Also, Florida’s new-cases positivity rate fell to 26.8 percent this week, down from 29.4 percent last week. There was a huge spike as a new variant, Delta was found. Due to the Delta variant, cases were as high as they were at the beginning of the pandemic around March-June 2020. But, there is a new variant, Omicron, which is estimated to cause the rise in cases again all over the U.S. Unlike the Delta variant, omicron is more contagious, however, it causes less severe symptoms than the Delta variant.
The week before Thanksgiving was the last time Florida reported fewer new cases than the week before. During that week, fewer than 10,000 new infections were reported.
On Friday, January 21, 11,140 people in Florida were still hospitalized with COVID-19, but it’s still far fewer than during the peak of the delta variant outbreak this summer when the number passed over 17,000 people. But as a result of the Omicron variant, all hospitals are expected to be jam-packed again.
“Our hospitals are seeing either a flattening or a decrease in hospitalizations for COVID. That is tremendous news. We are not seeing the level of acuity in terms of the need for ICU beds, and certainly the length of stay is less, so that is leading to individuals being in and out of the hospital much more quickly.”-Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association