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Why Florida’s changing ‘peak date’ could be a good thing

Florida’s peak date of COVID-19 cases has been moved again, this time to early May.

It was originally projected to be April 21, so what does the move mean? We asked Dr. Bindu Mayi, professor of microbiology at Nova Southeastern University, about the fluidity of the peak date.

“The peak date changes based on what we’ve already seen, what the model is anticipating based on social distancing, based on what announcements may be. So it’s going to be a very much fluid number,” said Dr. Bindu Mayi, professor of microbiology at Nova Southeastern University.

Why is pushing back the date a good thing? Won’t it take longer then to get back to normal?

“We don’t want, all of the sudden, an influx of cases that’s going to give us a dramatic peak all at once because that’s going to overwhelm our infrastructure – that’s exactly what happened in New York City. So what we have to do, I feel, is learn from that and try to spread out who’s getting infected so our health infrastructure can accommodate these individuals.”

Are we just pushing off the inevitable – will it change the death rate here?

“…when we spread out these infections, we are able to give better care,” Mayi said.

“The longer we do wait, the more time we give to the companies to come up with enough testing so we can engage in massive testing or widespread testing…”

Mayi said that more testing could actually help us in terms of the economy.

“So let’s say that testing tells us – these people are immune. Maybe those people can be out in the community helping the economy recover.”

Another benefit to drawing out our peak: if most of Florida’s cases hit after the rest of the country, more national resources, like ventilators, could be available.

But experts warn our numbers could also head in the opposite direction, where we see a surge of patients sooner rather than later if we don’t keep up with our current containment methods, like social distancing, wearing masks when out in public, and staying home whenever possible.

RELATED LINK: COVID-19 projections for Florida assuming full social distancing through May 2020

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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