Florida hospitals, healthcare workers feeling strain as COVID-19 cases surpass 1 million statewide

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida has passed the million mark as COVID-19 cases surge, putting a strain on hospitals and healthcare workers across the state.

Just over 1,008,000 total cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed by FDOH, Tuesday. The upward trend in cases is expected to continue through the holidays.

“We’re really two weeks away from, actually, a point of no return. What that means for us locally, I do not know,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and local leaders, like Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, gave conflicting reactions to the skyrocketing increase in COVID-19 cases, offering different opinions about the effectiveness of lockdowns in containing the virus.

“I’m opposed to mandates, period. I don’t think they work,” DeSantis said.

“We have virus spread throughout our state,” Gelber said.

“There’s narratives that lockdowns work, and they don’t,” DeSantis said.

“He’s wrong, and he just won’t change direction to the detriment of our residents,” Gelber said.

The battle over how to contain the coronavirus continues as wait times grow for testing in South Florida, which comes just as Cava became the latest South Florida leader to test positive for COVID-19.

On Monday, Cava tweeted in part, “Earlier today I tested positive for COVID-19, after learning that my husband, Dr. Robert Cava, was exposed by one of his patients last Wednesday. We both remain in good spirits and have only mild symptoms.”

“We started to feel sick, and Monday we had the test,” she said.

Cava added that she and her husband started feeling sick over Thanksgiving weekend.

“We just have to take all these precautions. This is not the time to let down our guard just because it’s the holiday season and just because people are still traveling,” she said.

Nearly 3,000 new positive cases were reported in South Florida Tuesday, and similar numbers are expected throughout the week.

“There’s no question that this is already having an impact on our entire healthcare system,” said Dr. Eileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University.

Marty’s warning is a healthcare crisis flashback as hospitalizations increase along with COVID-19 cases in South Florida.

“All of those supplies are becoming harder to obtain, and so it’s a huge crisis for all of us,” Marty said.

Supply numbers are shrinking as COVID case counts grow following Thanksgiving weekend.

For those waiting for results, assume that you are infected and wait until you get a positive or negative result before you remove yourself from isolation.

If you’re seeking a test, experts say it’s best to wait five to 10 days after potential exposure before you get tested.

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