COVID-19 cases in Southwest Florida are starting to creep up again

Published: July 15, 2022 5:48 PM EDT
Updated: July 18, 2022 1:49 PM EDT

COVID-19 cases start to rise in Southwest Florida. Lee health has 122 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.

Six adults and two kids are in the ICU.

At NCH, they are treating 41 people for COVID-19, and over the last few weeks there’s been a steady increase.

Doctors said there’s no need to panic.

Dr. Rebekah Bernard, Gulf Coast Direct Primary Care said, “We know that BA Five is the dominant variant right now.”

It’s so dominant that even Bernard couldn’t avoid it.

“My husband got sick first. And then three days later, I came down with the same symptoms,” Bernard said.

Bernard isn’t just seeing the virus in her family, she’s seen a steady increase in her own patients.

“Before I developed illness, I was getting lots of people that were testing positive for covid. And even in this week, while I’ve been out of the office, I’ve had a number of people call and let us know that they’ve tested positive,” Bernard said.

But this virus variant doesn’t compare to Delta, which proved to be deadly for so many.

“I’m so grateful that this is not the same version of the viruses that we were seeing last August. This is more a nuisance, putting life on pause, probably creating more stressors with our staffing issues with people having to be out sick from work,” Bernard said.

And with Florida being in what the CDC calls a COVID-19 hot zone expect more people to walk through those doors for treatment.

“The chance of completely avoiding any type of illness now is decreasing as this variant continues to mutate,” Bernard said.

Bernard still recommends getting the vaccine. She said she even believes a new one will come out in the fall to help fight these variants.

She also encourages everyone to wash their hands, keep their distance, and when necessary wear a mask.

This variant is spreading so quickly Los Angeles is considering another indoor mask mandate.