COVID-19 cases continue to rise as vaccination rates decline

ORLANDO, Fla. — The coronavirus crisis continues as cases are climbing across the country. In the past week, four states accounted for more than 40% of all new cases.

One in 5 of all cases happen here in Florida alone.

Data scientist Eric Solomon has plotted out Florida’s cases and said that right now, we are surely in another spike.

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“This would be the fourth spike we’ve seen,” Solomon said. “Unfortunately, the percentage increase we had last week was the highest one on record.”

This surge is roughly equal to the one we saw back in April, but what is different now is how quickly cases have increased.

From July 14 to July 21, cases in Florida have increased nearly 93%.

READ: Orange County mayor urges all to wear masks inside crowded places as COVID-19 cases rise

“Most of that is probably due to the delta variant. But we can’t forget the fact that we’re still seeing some cases from the Fourth of July holiday,” Solomon said.

Those infections have crept into all area counties. Testing sites like Barnet Park are filling up and reaching capacity before days end.

“If we continue to see the virus increase in similar rates, by next week, we’re going to be very close to the kinds of cases that we saw last year, during July, which was pretty remarkable,” Solomon added.

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According to a recent White House COVID briefing, this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Right now in Florida, most of the new infections occur among those ages 20-40.

Solomon said those are the age groups that have a very low vaccination level.

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The White House has been trying to get its message out to younger groups and combat misinformation that many ages 30-40 have been falling for on Facebook.

As for 20-year-olds, officials are trying a celebrity approach. Recently, they brought pop star Olivia Rodrigo to the White House to encourage vaccinations.

READ: American Academy of Pediatrics: Students should wear masks in school, no matter vaccination status

Vaccinations are plateauing, which is actually a positive sign in stopping the current surge because, for months, they had been dropping drastically.

“We have to start increasing the number of vaccinations,” Solomon stated.

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