FLORIDA POLITICS – A newer more-catchable COVID-19 variant, identified as BA.2, has already been detected in Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And nationally, the variant has become more common among COVID-19 cases over the past couple of weeks.
There are hints globally that could spell a new wave of COVID-19 heading to the United States, due in part to the more-transmissible subvariant of omicron, according to national news outlets.
But how the trajectory of the variant will impact the pandemic in Florida and across the nation is unclear, as COVID-19 safety measures loosen.
In fact, at a news conference Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t say a word about BA.2, though he did discuss some COVID-19 issues.
“We have no tolerance for COVID-19 theater in Florida. We are not going to be doing these destructive policies.” – Gov. Ron De Santis
Over the course of the pandemic, cases in Europe tend to be a vision of what’s to come for the United States. And certain European countries are seeing increased COVID-19 cases.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday: “Accelerated by the emergence of BA.2 — a more-transmissible strain of the omicron variant — the virus has spread rapidly.
Germany on Tuesday set a fresh record for infection rates for the four straight day. Austria has also reached new highs, while cases in the Netherlands have doubled since lifting curbs on Feb. 25.”
As for Florida, only about 1% of the COVID-19 samplings are related to BA.2. In other words, the previous omicron strains are still the main contributor to COVID-19 cases, for now.
As of March 15, there’s been only 1,250 new COVID-19 cases in Florida. And the most recent state report shows that from March 4 through March 10, there were 87 deaths from COVID-19 cases.
The Florida Department of Health announced last week on Twitter that it will no longer release weekly COVID-19 reports, moving to a biweekly reporting schedule.
This means that the state Department of Health won’t be reporting on the state’s COVID-19 cases, deaths attributed to COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccination rate, and other information for two weeks at a time, even if the BA.2 actually impacts the state worse than omicron … read more.