By Marsha Mullings, MPH
Cases: 80.6 million
Cases: 5.9 million
New coronavirus cases continue to increase across the US. New cases are highest in the northeast, but cases are rising across the entire country. The average number of new cases is 37,000 per day, a 38% increase over the last two weeks.
The average number of COVID-19 deaths has fallen to 500 daily across the US, a 21% decline over the previous two weeks.
New coronavirus cases in Florida have risen 52% in the last two weeks. The state reports an average of 2,200 new cases daily.
Omicron subvariant BA.2 is circulating widely in South Florida. There are no reports of the additional subvariants (BA2.12, BA2.121) in South Florida but it is very likely that they are already circulating in this region.
The CDC has reported two new Omicron subvariants (BA2.12 and BA2.121) circulating in the US. Scientists believe that the subvariants are responsible for the rising number of cases seen in the northeast. It is not yet known if these subvariants cause a more severe course of illness for persons who become infected.
The CDC has issued guidelines for mask usage in the prevention of COVID-19. The recommendations are based on the level of COVID-19 in the community.
Low: Wear a mask based on your personal preference, informed by your personal level of risk.
Medium: If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness – talk to your healthcare provider about additional precautions, such as wearing masks or respirators indoors in public.
If you live with or have social contact with someone at high risk for severe illness – consider testing yourself for infection before you get together and wearing a mask when indoors with them.
High: Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status or individual risk (including in K-12 schools and other community settings).
If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe illness – wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection.
South Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties) is at a medium level of community spread. Mask usage should be considered within the context of this level of COVID-19 in the community. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html
For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, visit www.FloridaHealth.org; nyt.com; www.coronavirus.jhu.edu; www.cdc.gov;