COVID-19 cases in NE FL continue to climb, projections from Mayo Clinic show no flattening of curve

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — COVID-19 cases in Northeast Florida continue to climb, and projections from Mayo Clinic show no flattening of the curve.

“There’s a projection from the Mayo Clinic that looked at current rates of infection and projected two weeks out and the concerning part is the transmission is going to double in the Duval area,” explains Dr. Mohammad Reza.

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If you look at the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 map, you’ll notice Jacksonville is a lot darker than other Florida counties.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic are seeing about 130 new cases per 100,000 daily right now on the First Coast or 1,208 daily average cases.

And those cases are expected to double in the next two weeks.

“We are not seeing this flatten out it’s just going straight up.”

Dr. Reza is a local infectious disease specialist. He’s been treating COVID-19 patients for well over a year now. Reza says hospitals are already overwhelmed.

”We are just barely getting by in the hospital setting. If we are overwhelmed like we are across the hospital system, we can’t provide care for those other things that people are coming in for…we just can’t get to the patients as quickly as we need to. Things like a heart attack it’s life and death at that point.”

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On Friday, UF Health reported their highest number of COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began at 150.

As of Monday, that number has climbed to 174.

It’s a similar story at Baptist Health. It went from 349 COVID-19 patients to 386 and now 82 of those patients are in the ICU.

Reza is speaking out now because he believes there’s still a chance for us to reverse the course by wearing masks and getting vaccinations.

And masks do not mean shutdowns, rather masks can be used as a way to keep businesses and the economy open while also slowing the spread of the virus.

“This is now a preventable illness. The vaccine can prevent this suffering and loss of life,” says Reza.

If we continue on the path we’re on Dr. Reza says hospitals will have an extremely hard time providing care for those who come in for other emergencies that are life and death like heart attacks.