‘Not going away’: Northeast Florida COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations rising

87 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Jacksonville on Friday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The CDC is warning residents that COVID-19 cases are on the rise again.

Doctors said COVID-19 is not going away and recent numbers are proof. Florida cases have steadily been rising over the past three months.

As of Friday, 87 patients were currently hospitalized with covid in Jacksonville -- 17 were located at the UF Health downtown campus and six were at the north campus.

Currently, Florida is averaging more than 10,000 new cases daily. With the rapidly growing amount of cases, people are encouraged to be cautious around others.

The community’s reactions to the increase in numbers are not the same as they once were back when the pandemic started two years ago. Some say they only wear a mask if asked, but if they have a choice, they will choose to go without one. Others express that they are still required to wear masks in the office and still try to adhere to the CDC’s recommendation of staying within 6-feet of others.

Based on new cases and hospitalization, the CDC is rating several northeast Florida counties as having “high” community levels of COVID-19. Those counties include Duval, Clay, Nassau, Alachua, and Flagler.

The orange bars on this graph show the number of cases reported each day, going back to mid-March. The green line shows us the trend – with the seven-day average of new cases.

Doctor Chirag Patel with UF Health said Jacksonville hospitals have been receiving an increase of covid cases since April.

“We saw that with the last two years of covid, it’s a seasonal thing and typically has a lot to do with travel but more recently there is a decrease in vigilance when it comes to taking precautions to keep yourself safe,” said Patel. “The fact of the matter is covid is still out there and it is still circulating. We have a variant with omicron that is more contagious. we are fortunate that it is not causing a severe illness but because it’s more contagious more people catch it. and when more people catch you can expect there will be a higher number of hospitalizations.”

The CDC notes other counties such as St. Johns, Baker, Bradford, Union, and Columbia are experiencing a moderate level of covid case increases. Putnam County is the only place with a low number of cases, according to the CDC.

Although the Omicron symptoms are milder compared to other variants, it is more contagious.

Some of the symptoms include upper respiratory issues, runny nose, fatigue, and sore throat, according to the CDC.

Even if you feel like you have a common cold, it is still advised to get a covid test to be sure you are safe.

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