Florida emergency rooms see surge in COVID-19 cases, nearing last winter's peak


The rates of COVID-19 The number of patients in Florida’s emergency rooms has surged in recent weeks, and is now near a peak not seen since the worst days of the virus wave last winter, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The weekly average of emergency room patients with COVID-19 has reached 2.64% in Florida, according to CDC data updated Friday, and is now the highest of any state during this summer's COVID-19 wave.

Florida also saw sharp increases in other key parameters that officials now use to track COVID-19, including in wastewater and nursing homes.

Chart released by the C.D.C. detailing COVID-19 emergency room patients in Florida through July 2, 2024.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The surge in the number of COVID-19 emergency room patients in Florida reflects this to some extent Western StatesThe trend of spread of the virus has seen an acceleration in recent weeks.

The trend remains high across the Western region, though the number of COVID-19 emergency room visits has peaked in Hawaii, which reported its highest rate of patients in more than a year.

“Over the past few weeks, some surveillance systems have shown small increases in COVID-19 cases nationally; widespread and localized increases remain possible during the summer months,” the C.D.C. said in a bulletin released Wednesday.

Nationwide, most states are also projected to see increases in COVID-19 cases, C.D.C. forecasters said this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly report on the virus on Friday that many states are also seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases reported from hospitals.

“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 agency said.

The agency has cautioned in recent weeks that this summer’s surge in COVID-19 has been contained, and said recent increases stem from record low levels of 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 C.D.C. said.

Outside of Florida and the West, the rate of emergency room visits with the virus remains far from previous peaks despite recent increases. Overall, the CDC says COVID-19 activity nationwide remains “low.”

Previous years have seen COVID-19 activity surge at least twice a year since the pandemic began, once during the summer or early fall after a lull during the spring, and again during the winter, with new cases peaking. Different types of viruses,

The closely related KP2 and KP3 variants are currently dominant across the country, accounting for more than half of the cases in recent weeks, according to estimates published Friday by the C.D.C.

Behind them, a mix of other variants is spreading rapidly. LB.1 is the next-largest, accounting for 14.9% of cases. And in an area stretching from New Mexico to Louisiana, the CDC estimates a new variant called KP.4.1 has risen to 17.9% of infections as of June 22.

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