WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida reached another grim milestone on Wednesday, becoming the second state in the country to surpass more than 500,000 cases of COVID-19.
"I was very sick, but I ended up not requiring any hospitalization," said Quinn Hazellief.
Hazellief is just one of the more than half a million people in Florida to be infected with the coronavirus. She's a nurse and is still on the mend after experiencing moderate symptoms, and wants non believers to realize the virus is real.
"I was terrified," Hazellief said. "There were some very difficult days where I was having problems with my breathing. I thought maybe I should go to the hospital."
Hospitalizations across the state are up from a week ago, according to the Florida Department of Health, and deaths are still surging.
"I still see in some areas where people are still not wearing a mask, where they're still not observing social distancing," said Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi, an infectious disease doctor at Triple O Medical Services in West Palm Beach.
Dr. Osiyemi and is part of the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society, and is conducting clinical trails for treatment after someone is exposed to COVID-19. Next month, he's starting two vaccine trials.
"That's the way we are going to end this, by having those very effective vaccines and effective treatment," Osiyemi said.
With more younger people now being infected, Osiyemi said people need to be vigilant by avoiding crowds and bars. Both he and Hazellief are warning Floridians that the virus is here to stay.
"It's the worst it's ever been in Florida, and I really just wish people would take it more seriously. Wear your masks," Hazellief said.
If you're interested in those clinical trials, Dr. Osiyemi is looking for thousands of people to participate. You could even receive a stipend.
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