2.2 million cases, 119,969 deaths
97,291 cases, 13,037 hospitalizations, 3,161 deaths
10,878 cases, 1,821 hospitalizations, 373 deaths
Where are we now?
*The pandemic begins – On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was officially labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). There were over 1,100 known cases and 37 deaths in the US.
*The virus spreads rapidly – Three and a half months later, there are 2.2 million known cases of coronavirus infection in the US. This represents a 2000-fold increase in the number of cases in just three and a half months.
*The death toll rises steeply – We are approaching 120,000 deaths from COVID-19, an approximately 3,200-fold increase in deaths in less than three months…Death rates are highest among individuals over 65-years of age, people with underlying health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, and among African-Americans of all ages.
*Disease mitigation efforts continue – We have moved from quarantining at home to a phased return to work and other normal activities of living. People are reminded to observe social distancing measure and to wear face masks whenever they go out in public, in Broward county.
*Quarantine “fatigue” comes with a worrying consequence – It is inevitable that some individuals will grow tired of restricting their normal activities and staying at home. Many people are quickly returning to their old activities and are disregarding disease control measures. This, predictably, leads to increased exposure and increased risk of spikes in infections.
*Florida may become the new disease epicenter – One month after the reopening, there has been an alarming increase in coronavirus infections in Florida. Most of the new cases are in South Florida, particularly Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The increase in cases is partly due to increased testing, but there is also a significant increase in the rate of positive tests. This indicates a true increase in viral spread in the community. At the end of May, 3 percent of tests were positive. As of June 14, 8.7 percent of tests were positive. This is a worrying increase and indicates the importance of maintaining vigilance in personal disease control measures.
*Hospital ICU beds are filling up again – A consequence of more coronavirus infections is increased Emergency Room visits and hospital admissions. Hospitals in the tri-county area are reporting a decrease in the number of available ICU beds. Without proper disease mitigation and control efforts, hospitals may become overwhelmed by the number of cases needing care. A strong emphasis on community disease mitigation measures and personal measures must be in place to reduce the possibility of Florida becoming a disease epicenter.
*Younger people are becoming infected – The median age for coronavirus infection is now 37-years of age. Younger people are less likely to become seriously ill from infection, but they are more likely to spread the virus to many more people, as they are out and about in more risky surroundings. Even though younger individuals are less likely to suffer a severe infection, it is important to note that anyone, regardless of age, can develop serious or fatal illness due to COVID-19. It is critical to remain vigilant and protect our health.
For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, visit www.FloridaHealth.org;Coronavirus.jhu.edu