COVID-19 cases are on the rise in South Florida, doctors concerned over possible summer surge

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – COVID-19 positive cases are rising in Florida with more than 28 thousand cases in the past week alone and there have been more visits to the ER, but doctors say their hospitals are not stressed.

According to South Florida doctors, people aren’t getting as sick as they were with other waves, but warn there is a potential to see a summer surge due to an omicron sub-variant overseas.

“We had gotten down to maybe three a day, we are now up to 15 a day, maybe 20 a day that are testing positive,” chief medical officer of the Memorial Healthcare System Dr. Marc Knapp said.

Dr. Knapp says the numbers have increased slightly, but there is no need to panic.

“The numbers of hospitalizations have gone up a very slight bit as well. We had been as low as 50 maybe a little bit shy of that we are now up into the high 50′s nothing like what we had seen at the peak when we had over 760, ”Dr. Knapp said.

Across four Jackson Health System Hospitals, there are 43 patients.

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“We’ve certainly had an uptick in the ER visits with regards to COVID and COVID-like systems, but the hospitalizations have not materialized,” chief medical officer at Jackson North Medical Center Dr. O’Neil Pyke said.

Broward Health hospitals are fairing better with only 19 patients across their four hospitals.

Health experts and researchers are tracking two other omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 linked to a spike in South Africa.

“If this BA.4 does come to the United States and BA.5 we may see another wave in the early part of this summer June or July as we have in the previous couple of years. I do not think we are going to get to a level that our hospitals or healthcare providers can handle, ”FIU Infectious Disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty said.

Local 10 reached out to a doctor at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and he says he’s seen more kids test positive, but isn’t seeing as many admissions as he had in the previous waves.

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