Brevard County is witnessing a concerning resurgence of the COVID-19 virus, mirroring a statewide and national trend of increasing new cases. Throughout the month of July, the number of new cases has been steadily rising, raising alarm among health officials.
Data from the Florida Department of Health reveals a 20.1 percent increase in new COVID-19 cases (354 new cases) for the week of July 14-20 in Brevard County alone. Statewide, Florida experienced a 17 percent rise, with a staggering 9,942 new cases reported during the same period.
One noteworthy aspect is that reported testing levels in Florida remain relatively low. However, wastewater surveillance has proven to be a valuable tool in determining virus spread within counties. Recent data from BioBot indicates that COVID-19 levels in Brevard County’s water have more than doubled since June, underscoring the seriousness of the situation.
This resurgence is not confined to Brevard County but has been observed across the United States since the 4th of July weekend. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has reported a steady increase in weekly COVID-19 hospital admissions since the beginning of July, reversing a trend of declining cases that had been evident since January 2023.
Despite the recent surge, it is important to note that COVID-19 numbers at the national level are still lower than previous summer periods. NPR’s reporting highlights that COVID-19 deaths have fallen to their lowest levels since the CDC started tracking them. The decline in fatalities is attributed to the immunity people have acquired through previous infections and vaccinations.
Experts believe that even if infections, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations continue to rise, any resulting wave is unlikely to be as severe as those experienced in previous summers, largely due to the widespread immunity from prior infections and vaccinations.
In response to the evolving situation, the FDA is anticipated to approve a new COVID-19 booster in September. Until then, medical professionals strongly advise older and more at-risk individuals to receive their booster shots, wear masks in crowded places, and promptly get tested if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms.
The situation calls for heightened vigilance and adherence to safety measures as the community works together to curb the spread of the virus and protect public health.