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Because Florida: Spring Break = COVID Outbreak

Just as we saw last year at this time, Florida is reporting a massive surge in COVID19 cases that appear to be tied to the massive crowds of young people and tourists who packed the beaches and bars during Spring Break.

Florida is home to the most variant COVID-19 cases in the country. State health officials reported more than 11,800 cases of COVID-19 variants on Wednesday. The Florida Department of Health released the data as a part of a legal settlement with the Orlando Sentinel after the paper sued in March to obtain a county breakdown of variant cases. A judge ended up agreeing with the paper’s claim that the data was vital “to understand how the virus continues to spread and affect Floridians.”

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

To put it simply, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis allowed the beaches to open too quickly in his effort to give in to the public demand to reopen the entire state. Defying warnings from the CDC has resulted in the devastating after-effects of his decisions with a startlingly large amount of variant cases.

A total of 753 variant cases from three strains (the B.1.1.7, the P.1, and the B. 1.3.5.1.) were reported on March 14th, according to variant infection data shared with ABC News. The Florida Department of Health does not disclose variant cases on its public dashboard, but that number reportedly swelled to 5,177 cases from five types of variants on April 15th. Just two weeks later, the number of variant infections exploded to 9,248 on April 27th. The timeline coincides with spring break, which drew college students and other vacationers to the area.

In total, variants have led to the hospitalization of 243 residents and the death of 67 people in Florida. As of May 1, Miami-Dade County led the state with 2,279 variant cases, followed by Broward County with 1,950 variant cases.



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