Tampa epidemiologist states Florida could be free from COVID-19 by June

DORAL, FL – Florida could be free from COVID-19 by June, according to USF Health epidemiologist, Dr. Edwin Michael, who in last December projected the pandemic could be over for Floridians by mid-April. 

In an interview with Fox 13, the specialist said his projections changed due to the fact that people has relaxed when following coronavirus safety measures and there was an increase of cases during the 2020 holiday season.

Dr. Michael, who studies the spread and control of global infectious diseases, also announced the virus could be tamed more successfully if not only seniors were included in the state anti-coronavirus efforts but also people from 20 to 49 years old. 

“If you ask me as an epidemiologist, I would say target the 20-to-49 [year-olds],” said Dr. Michael to the news channel, arguing this age group is the one that typically spreads the virus the most. 

“You stop transmission as soon as possible, that will reduce hospitalizations as an indirect outcome and that will protect the older folks.”

Regarding the U.K. COVID-19 strain, that since January has been concerning the population because it was believed it could reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, the epidemiologist doesn’t think it will create another spike despite the fact that is already spreading across the state. 

“If the variance were transmitting or spreading rapidly as it spread in the UK, you would expect transmission rates to increase. But we are not seeing anything for the last month. It’s been steadily falling,” he said.

He also doesn’t think the variant could reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, as they are already proving to be effective on it, although other sources interviewed by Fox 13 are against his points of view, arguing the U.K. variant is going to be the root of most infections in Florida in the short-term, even more if people continue not following safety measures.

About this last part, he agrees. “We have to give time for the vaccines to roll out. And so any drop in the social measures is going to complicate it.”

In another words, achieving the goal of making Florida free from COVID-19 depends in a big portion in how well we all continue adhering to basic safety measures such as using a face covering, washing hands frequently and keeping social distancing. 

 

Photo: Unsplash.com 

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