JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The daily positive COVID-19 case number and percentage rate in Florida is dropping, but the state has the most cases of the new variant from the United Kingdom.
“It is concerning of course. I think the biggest worry about the variant is that of course, it’s more contagious," said Dr. Elizabeth Ransom, Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive with Baptist Health.
Fortunately, Ransom says the mutated coronavirus strain first identified in the UK is not more severe.
“The UK variant does seem to be susceptible to the vaccine, which is great news," Ransom said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 144 cases of the UK COVID-19 variant in the United States. Forty-six of them are in Florida, which is almost one-third of total cases. California has the second-highest number at 40, while New York has 17.
You may be wondering why the cases are so high in the Sunshine State.
“Because of the global nature of this and the prevalence of travel, it’s very easy for variants to spread," Ransom said. "It’s possible the variant is actually more widespread than what we’re seeing right now.”
Dr. Ransom says it’s important to stay vigilant with the increase of the UK coronavirus variant in Florida. Carry hand sanitizer with you, physical distance with those outside your household, and continue to wear your mask.”
“The variant is present in our environment, and knowing that it’s a more contagious variant, makes it all the more important to be safe and to be careful," Ransom said.