TAMPA, Fla. — As we round out year two of the coronavirus pandemic, Florida has more reported COVID-19 cases than ever before.
The state reported a new daily all-time high of 75,962 cases for Dec. 30, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida has shattered its record number of COVID cases multiple times in the past week, this time with a one-day jump of 17,949 cases compared to Dec. 29.
Doctors and health officials nationwide have said that the new, highly-transmissible omicron variant is to blame for the recent exponential surge in COVID cases.
Hospitalizations, which typically increase following a spike in cases, indeed have been on the rise in recent days in Florida with the current seven-day average at 2,341 people hospitalized, CDC data shows. The previous week's average was 1,277 patients.
Health experts plead with the public to get vaccinated against the virus to better protect themselves from possibly getting severely sick and ending up in the hospital.
The CDC recently revised its recommendations for testing for the virus and isolation for those who are asymptomatic.
CDC officials said Wednesday if you came in contact with someone who has COVID, wait five days to get tested. On day five, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, that is when you will get the most accurate results.
Those who test positive "should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others," the CDC wrote on Monday.
“The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses," Walensky stated.
"These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather."