INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — Fueled by the omicron variant, hospitalizations and new cases of the coronavirus continue to climb on the Treasure Coast.
In Indian River County, in just the last week, new cases have surged by more than 100%.
Indian River County moved its testing site to the fairgrounds near Vero Beach last week to accommodate the increased demand.
Hundreds of tests are done daily at the site, and there has been a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Kim and Richie Tucker scheduled an appointment Thursday afternoon for a PCR test after they started to feel sick.
"We have sore throats, headaches," Kim Tucker said.
Over the past seven days, as of Jan. 13, Indian River County has seen 1,404 COVID cases, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker.
That is a 113% increase in cases in the last seven days.
"We're feeling that here in the hospital, but fortunately the number of patients hospitalized has not climbed at that same rate or to that same number," Dr. Charles Mackett, with the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, said.
Representatives of the hospital are also reminding people, especially if you are asymptomatic, not to show up to the emergency department for a COVID-19 test.
Instead, they urge people to come to a testing site like the one at the county fairgrounds.
Data from the CDC also shows that the percent positivity rate in Indian River County is 34% for the last seven days.
Researchers at the University of Florida predict that omicron will peak soon in the state, and then we will start to see a decline in cases.
The Tuckers are hoping that the models are accurate and things start to improve.
"We're hoping that (the COVID-19 cases) drop off and that it goes away," Kim Tucker said. "People just got to learn to live with it."
Data from the CDC's COVID tracker show that new hospital admissions are up 85% in the last seven days in Indian River County.
Florida has the third most coronavirus cases in the past week at 448,232, only behind California at 736,964 and New York with 492,056.