In medical theory according to the Mayo Clinic’s Florida COVID-19 tracker and projections, we’re in for a rough ride over the next couple of weeks. We ended last week averaging over 10,000 new daily COVID-19 cases in Florida, ending the week with the highest number of new cases, 14,258, that we’d had in a day since January. While the state is only releasing official numbers weekly, the CDC’s accounting suggests we’re now pacing over 12,000 new cases daily in real-time. This is to say that yeah, the summer surge is still surging, and the Mayo Clinic’s tracker is offering up a sobering projection.
The Mayo Clinic’s tracker projects new cases up to two weeks out at a time based on medical data tracked across all 67 counties. Even the best-case scenario isn’t good news. The best-case scenario shows cases rising from 99 per 100,000 in the population today to 146 per 100,000 in two weeks or a 47% increase in new cases. The midpoint or average expectation is for a rise to 230 per 100k. The worst-case really isn’t something we want to discuss as cases could rise a ridiculous 392% in two weeks. I’m a seller for sure on that projection and even as far as the average projection is concerned. But here’s the thing. Even the best-case scenario suggests this summer surge driven by the Delta variant is going to get meaningfully worse before it gets better.
Eighty-eight percent of Floridians have managed to get this far into the pandemic without catching the virus yet. The next two weeks are likely to leave us with levels approaching or exceeding peak spread in Florida at any time during the pandemic. It’s a reminder to be careful lest you be part of this story over the next couple of weeks.