PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time in months, the level of community spread of the coronavirus in South Florida is classified as "high" with COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise.
An infectious disease specialist WPTV spoke with Monday said he has been swamped, and cases, especially within the last two weeks, are a little troublesome.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Palm Beach County is more than 17%, a level we haven't seen in about three months.
Doctors said that number also may not be accurate as people take at-home tests and don't always report a positive reading.
Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi said Monday he's also seen an uptick recently in the number of cases of influenza ever since the masks have come off. That, along with new variants, he said are leading to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
But the good news is that deaths remain down and the symptoms are not very severe, usually mild, but Osiyemi does expect the increase in cases to continue.
"You're going to see more and more," Osiyemi said. "You have Memorial Day coming up. You have the July 4th weekend coming up. So you're going to see more and more cases as people get together."
Osiyemi said another positive is that Pfizer's COVID-19 booster for kids ages 5 to 11 has been recommended by the CDC.
Osiyemi said getting cases under control in children will help stop the spread to adults.