COVID-19 variant cases skyrocketed in Florida after spring break, data shows

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — There are almost 10,000 cases of variants in Florida, according to data.

The majority of cases are the B-117 variant, more commonly referred to as the U.K. variant.

There are also a handful of cases of the Brazilian variant and the South African variant, and a few others first found in California.

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Scientists said they’re concerned about the more contagious variants but are happy with the progress being made against the pandemic.

Thursday marked the first time in months we’ve seen a statewide positivity rate under 5%, which is considered a controllable spread of the virus.

The development came after weeks of worry.

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New data shows variant cases skyrocketed in our area after spring break.

On March 14, there were 750 variant cases. On April 14, there were 5,072 cases. And on April 27, there were 9,248 cases.

It’s difficult to say if the spread was just from people who live in Florida gathering with others or if tourists brought more cases of the variants.

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“People come here from all around the country. And sometimes, they bring more than just their luggage,” local statistician Eric Solomon said.

Here’s a breakdown for all variant cases from Jan. 1 through April 27 in Central Florida counties:

  • ORANGE: 549
  • OSCEOLA: 161
  • SEMINOLE: 162
  • VOLUSIA: 108
  • BREVARD: 75

In Florida, the variants have put 222 people in the hospital, and 62 people eventually died.

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The vaccines are said to be highly effective against the variants, so scientists are pleading with the public to get vaccinated.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.