The Perfect Enemy | COVID-19 update: South Florida positivity rate jumps above 10%, Miami-Dade now considered moderate transmission level - South Florida Sun Sentinel
May 27, 2022

COVID-19 update: South Florida positivity rate jumps above 10%, Miami-Dade now considered moderate transmission level – South Florida Sun Sentinel

COVID-19 update: South Florida positivity rate jumps above 10%, Miami-Dade now considered moderate transmission level  South Florida Sun Sentinel

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The COVID picture is shifting in Florida: Test positivity in all three South Florida counties climbed above 10% for the first time since the omicron wave receded.

Only three weeks ago, the positivity rate in Miami-Dade and Broward counties had been hovering around 3%.

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Miami-Dade, with a positivity rate of 12.6%, now has a community transmission level considered moderate rather than low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All other counties remain at a low community transmission level — which is calculated using hospitalizations, case numbers and positivity rates.

As of Friday, Broward’s positivity rate is 11.2% and Palm Beach’s is 11.4%.

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A subvariant of omicron more transmissible than BA.2 has been gaining traction in the United States and is likely driving up new COVID cases in Florida, too.

New COVID-19 cases nearly doubled in the Sunshine State over the last few weeks. The seven-day average for new cases rose to 3,796 on April 28 from 1,649 on April 1, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The case count likely is higher with more Floridians now learning their COVID status through at-home tests.

Federal health officials say the latest variant of omicron, BA.2.12.1, which has been circulating in the U.S., is 23% to 27% more transmissible than BA.2, which itself was more transmissible than the original omicron variant.

The BA.2.12.1 strain now accounts for roughly 1 in 5 new cases nationwide. Fortunately, there is no evidence yet to suggest that it causes more severe disease.

However, COVID hospitalizations in Florida, which had flattened, are increasing again.

In Florida, hospitalizations rose slightly over the last two weeks with 1,169 admitted COVID patients as of Friday, up from 1,117 a week ago, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services dashboard.

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The COVID death count in Florida has now reached 73.948.