Florida could see up to 80% of people infected with COVID

Published: January 7, 2022 4:22 PM EST
Updated: January 7, 2022 6:01 PM EST

The level of contagion that we see with the omicron variant shatters previous predictions. Researchers with the University of Florida say that up to 80% of Floridians will have been infected with COVID-19.

The omicron surge came on quickly, and that has caused some researchers to readjust their models. The newest estimates for the amount of Floridians that could contract COVID-19 by the end of this surge are astounding. Dr. Ira Longini is a professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.

“It’ll be in the 70 to 80% range, at least, of all, Floridians roughly, if you look at the infection curve, we already think there were a million infections a day right around the end of December, the beginning of January,” said Dr. Longini.

Dr. Longini is the professor behind these forecasts and says that this variant is spreading more quickly and with a shorter incubation period. There is something else aiding the increase in cases, though.

“The degree of immune escape is greater than we originally thought. So all that contributes to a bigger number of reported cases,” Dr. Longini said.

The silver lining in all of this is that researchers believe the number of severe cases and deaths will lessen with omicron. “There’s no doubt about that. The numbers of severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths will be probably about a third of those that we observe for Delta,” Longini said.

If the models stand, infections should peak sometime within the next week. Longini says he and his team will continue tracking COVID-19 around the world. And there could be more good news.

“There’s no variants on the horizon of concern at the moment,” Longini said.

Now, these new figures would put Florida into the realm of herd immunity. However, whether any new mutated variants will lead to breakthrough infections remains to be seen.