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SWFL cases, hospitalizations due to COVID begin slight trend upward

Gov. Ron DeSantis has suggested he may change the frequency in which COVID-19 cases are reported in the state, but Wednesday afternoon, his communications director tweeted that isn’t the case.

We just learned our cases in Southwest Florida are continuing to slowly climb, but the state has been under a 10% positivity rate for more than two months.

Despite what the numbers say, people worry a second spike is about to strike.

COVID cases are surging in many states, but that’s not the case in Florida. Locally, the increase here is slow, but it’s enough to spark a bump in testing.

It’s a new experience, not very exciting, not very nice,” said Charles Morrison of Fort Myers.

“It’s going to happen. I think that’s the only way that we’re going to get a handle on this is, you know, people, unfortunately, have to get it until we get the vaccine,” said Terri Hooper of Fort Myers.

Since the start of October, Lee Health hospitalizations match the slight increase in cases: 41 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on the 1st, and 77 were in the hospital on Wednesday.

“We’re all in danger. We don’t know much about this virus, we’re just learning about it,” said Dr. Alexandra Sarac with the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida.

Sarac worries the slight increase will suddenly spike.

“We should all not let our guard down because as soon as we do, we’re going to see this flareup.”

That means you should keep washing your hands, wearing masks, staying out of crowds and continue social distancing.

“Does it look like we’re inching up the second wave?” asked WINK News.

“I think, I don’t like to look at it as a second wave, I prefer more if you think of it as a fire that’s constantly there and you’re just trying to put out whatever is flaring up,” Sarac replied.

The doctor said while we all hope – and some act as if the worst of the virus is behind us – don’t believe it.

“I think it’s something that we’re going to have to deal with for the rest of our lives.”

In Collier County, NCH’s hospitalizations are lower than Lee Health’s, hovering around 20 people with COVID-19 every day this month.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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