Florida Leads Nation For Cases of Contagious COVID
Cases of the coronavirus in Florida are rising and, although Florida Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies will receive COVID-19 vaccine doses next week, there is a race against time. Infiltrating the state is the new COVID-19 variant out of the UK, also known as B117—one considered "more transmissible" by experts. The variant now represents at least 5% of cases in the state, according to the latest estimates from tracing company Helix. Read on to see what this means for the state and the country—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Florida Has the Highest Number of Cases of the Contagious UK COVID-19 Variant
"Florida leads the country for the highest number of cases of the contagious UK COVID-19 variant, data shows," reports the New York Post. "The Sunshine State is home to 147 of the total 467 cases of the new mutation, according to a tally from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California trails behind Florida with 113 cases, while New York follows in third with 42 reported, according to the data. The first stateside case of the variant, also known as B117, was detected in Colorado in late December."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said our trturn to normal depends on the efficacy of these mutations to evade our vaccines. "This is a wake-up call to all of us," Fauci said. "We will continue to see the evolution of mutants so we … will have to be nimble to be able to just adjust readily to make versions of the vaccine that actually are specifically directed towards whatever mutation is actually traveling at any given time."
Genomic sequencing to nail down the variant is proving difficult. "By the time someone has symptoms, gets a test, has a positive result, and we get the sequence, our opportunity for doing real case control and and and contact tracing is largely gone," says Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "And so I think, and I believe that we should be treating every case as if it's a variant during this pandemic right now."
How to Avoid COVID Mutations and Stay Safe
Dr. Fauci says this is all the more reason to follow his fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.