MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - There is still a lot to learn about the new COVID-19 variants that, scientists said, originated in the United States, but the variant that has been the main focus is from the U.K., and Dr. Anthony Fauci said people have an effective weapon against it: the vaccines.
For the last few months, all eyes have been on the U.K. variant of COVID-19.
“The vaccines that we are now currently distributing clearly work against this variant,” said Fauci.
The New York Times reports there’s a possible new strain that mutated in the United States. Fauci said no matter what variants form, the best thing to do is to keep up with the status quo until enough people get vaccinated.
“The masking, the distancing, the avoiding congregant settings,” Fauci said.
Health experts said those measures have been working to lower the number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, which is a direct result of people taking the coronavirus seriously.
On Monday, Florida reported a positivity rate of 6.8% and 3,600 new cases of the virus, the lowest levels since October.
“You are seeing a decline nationwide here in nursing home cases. I think we’re really turning the corner thanks to these vaccines,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least 2.3 million Floridians have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
U.S. Air Force veteran Ar-Rahman was vaccinated through a new program at select VA medical centers. The Bruce W. Carter VA Clinic in Miami was one of them.
The campuses in Miami-Dade and Broward County are offering vaccines to veterans, but an appointment must be made by calling 305-575-7000 or by contacting their care team.
“I’m here for my second shot,” said Ar-Rahman. “I took it upon myself to make sure I’m safe.”
Veterans in Miami-Dade & Broward Counties under the age of 65, have a high-risk medical condition & active patients of the @MiamiVAMC are being offered the COVID19 vaccine, while supplies allow. To schedule, call 305-575-7000 or contact their care team. https://t.co/rg4NOPIQom. pic.twitter.com/1Et4rXIH5Z
— Miami VAMC (@MiamiVAMC) February 10, 2021
The expanded access comes at a time of change in state leadership.
Jared Moskowitz is stepping down as the director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. The Broward County native has been leading the state’s effort to combat COVID-19.
He said he is stepping down later this spring to spend more time with his family.
The governor said Deputy Director Kevin Guthrie will replace Moskowitz.
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