Florida emergency rooms see surge in COVID-19 cases, nearing last winter’s peak – Action News Jax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – COVID-19 rates in Florida emergency rooms have jumped in recent weeks, reaching the highest level since last winter’s outbreak, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The latest data, updated Friday, shows the weekly average of COVID-19 patients in Florida emergency rooms has risen to 2.64%. That's one of the highest rates in the country during this summer wave and is approaching levels not seen since the peak of last winter's surge.

In addition to emergency room visits, Florida has also seen large increases in other key metrics, such as wastewater and nursing home data.

The trend in Florida is similar to one seen recently in some Western states, where the virus outbreak has surged again.

The CDC highlighted in a bulletin released Wednesday that “over the past few weeks, some surveillance systems have shown small national increases in COVID-19; widespread as well as local surges are possible during the summer months.”

Reading: Long Covid remains severe and persistent; over 200 symptoms identified

Nationwide, most states are now seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, with many states reporting an increase in hospitalizations. The CDC's weekly report says some areas are seeing a persistent increase in COVID-19 activity, including increases in test positivity and emergency department visits.

“Some areas of the country are seeing continued increases in COVID-19 activity, including increases in COVID-19 test positivity and emergency department visits, and increases in COVID-19-related hospitalization rates among adults 65+ in many locations,” the CDC said.

While COVID-19 trends remain high across the West, including a recent peak in Hawaii, rates in Florida and outside the West are far from previous peaks. Overall, the CDC describes nationwide COVID-19 activity as “low.”

The agency has been cautious in its recent statements about the surge in COVID-19 cases this summer. It noted that the recent increase came after a period of record lows for the virus. “Last winter, COVID-19 peaked in early January, declined sharply in February and March, and by May 2024 was lower than at any point since March 2020,” the CDC said.

Historically, COVID-19 activity has surged at least twice a year since the pandemic began: once during the summer or early fall after the spring lull, and again in the winter. However, the CDC said the observed COVID-19 activity patterns are not seasonal and surges can occur at any time of year, often driven by new variants.

Currently, the KP.2 and KP.3 variants are the most common across the country, accounting for more than half of the recent cases. Other variants such as LB.1 and KP.4.1 are also contributing to the current surge.

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