A team of scientists from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania published a report warning that Florida, United States, could become the next epicenter of the new coronavirus pandemic.
According to specialists, the state has continued to make progress in its plans to reopen stores, restaurants, beaches, despite having a week of records in infections; positioning it as well as the new possible focus of the SARS-CoV-2.
What Does the Report Say?
“The areas of most concern for additional widespread community transmission continues in Texas, Arizona, the Carolinas, and, once again, Florida,” the report says. “In fact, Florida has all the characteristics to be the next great epicenter … The risk is the worst in our projections.”
Florida had its largest increase in new coronavirus cases on Thursday, June 18, with 3,208 new cases in just 24 hours, according to CBS Miami. The state now has almost a total of 86,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths, the state Department of Health reported.
The report predicts that in Palm Beach County the number of infected will increase rapidly until July 5, if the social distancing practices remain the same. A similar outcome is expected for Miami-Dade, which currently leads the state with 23,854 cases.
There Will Be No Change of Measures
At a press conference on Tuesday, June 16, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis clarified that the state does not plan to change its reopening plans.
All of Florida except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach is currently in the second phase of reopening. Bars and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity, and gyms, retail stores, museums, libraries, and professional sports venues can operate at full capacity.
However, Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Florida International University, said the reopens are contributing to the increase in cases.