JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida has above 1,000 adults hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 for the first time since March, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data.
HHS reported Monday that there were 1,052 adults hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 in Florida. The last time there were more than 1,000 was March 22 when there were 1,001.
It’s worth noting that the data does not detail whether those patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 or whether they were admitted with COVID-19 but hospitalized for something else.
The slight uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida comes as the White House warns that 100 million people could get sick with COVID-19 in the fall.
It seems the prediction is part of a bigger pitch to persuade lawmakers to provide more funding for vaccines, testing, and treatment. If more funding is not secured, the White House says, supplies of antivirals and tests could run out by summer — which, in return, could lead to millions of new infections.
The prediction also comes as the U.S. nears 1 million COVID-19 deaths.
“The main message for everyone is, if you’re staying up to date with your vaccine and boosters for the COVID-19 vaccine, you are going to be just fine,” said Chad Neilsen, UF Health Jacksonville director of infection prevention.
But Neilsen says it’s important to remember COVID-19 has not gone away.
”Jacksonville itself has an almost 9% positivity rate, which is about triple where it was just a couple months ago. We are seeing cases steadily rise, but it’s not driving hospitalizations because there’s so much immunity out there in the public, but that immunity we know will wane, which is why boosters are important,” Neilsen said. “Like the flu vaccine, we could see waves of this, but you won’t be as harshly affected if you’re vaccinated.”
That’s why a wave of new infections come fall is not out of the question but, in the end, only a prediction at this point.
Neilsen says it’s also important to remember this is only a prediction based on the variants currently out there.