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What the recent COVID-19 trend means for you

In the last five days, more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 have surfaced in the state of Florida. Monday was the first day in the past week that we didn’t hit 1,000 new cases, topping out at 966.

“We kind of slowly started to see a climb back, and that has certainly been evident in what we have seen in the past couple of days,” said Robert Hawkes, the director of the physicians assistant program at FGCU.

But experts say they are not surprised by the recent increase in case numbers.

“Honestly, it’s not surprising because, as we have begun these phases, people are starting to get more comfortable,” Hawkes said. “They are going shopping; they are going outdoors. I also noticed that people are not wearing their mask as much as they were a couple of weeks ago.”

Dr. Bindu Mayi, a professor of microbiology at Nova Southeastern University, agrees that numbers aren’t just going to flatline, especially since restrictions are loosening. “As the country comes out of lockdown or eases out of lockdown, we have to remember regardless of what the numbers are telling us because it seems to be slowing down but it hasn’t stopped entirely,” said Mayi.

One thing to remember is that there is more testing happening, so that may have something to do with the number of tests. “I mean certainly it’s high and again I think it goes back to, we are having increased testing, so we are certainly seeing more testing those in Lee and Collier Counties. We are certainly seeing it in Hendry as well,” said Hawkes.

Masks are still the suggested protection from experts against spreading coronavirus. “We still have to engage in preventative measures,” said Mayi.

Aaron E. Glatt, Physician from the Department of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiologist, at Mount Sinai in South Nassau said, “Whether it’s a large gathering, a protest gathering, religious gathering they really do need to wear a mask to make sure that day and as well as everyone else around them.”

If you want to know for how long, it’ll be awhile. “So as long as cases are unfortunately around, that’s the way it’s transmitted until we can determine whether [those who] previously had COVID and/or had antibodies are protected truly. And, until we know that for certain, everybody needs to wear a mask,” said Glatt.

And while they may be uncomfortable, they’re keeping us all safe. ” I understand they’re not comfortable, I wear them myself …” said Glatt. But “this is something that will make society as well as our individual selves safe.”

And if you’re looking for more good news, the number of deaths from COVID-19 are on the decline. Meaning cases now may not be as severe.

“On the bright side, the number of deaths keep decreasing. So I think that is a positive. I think what we are seeing, since there may be more cases, there may not be as much of the severity that requires a lot of hospitalization for people that were really sick compared to what we saw a couple months ago,” said Hawkes.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, 341 tests have been conducted, and 14,314 tests have been conducted since test sites opened a few months ago.
Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Drew Hill
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