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Health Officials Watching Increase In New Central Florida Coronavirus Cases

The average number of new cases each week is increasing in Florida. Photo: NPR (Data from June 11, 2020)
The average number of new cases each week is increasing in Florida. Photo: NPR (Data from June 11, 2020)

New cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Florida -- with daily averages nearly double over the last two weeks. Local health leaders are cautiously monitoring the spike.

The daily average of cases in Florida increased more than 90 percent over the last two weeks, according to an analysis by NPRwith data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The current daily average this week in Florida is 1,269 new cases.

Counties in Central Florida are seeing an even bigger increase. In Seminole, the daily average cases over two weeks increased by 276 percent. Brevard saw a 200 percent increase and Orange saw a 189 percent increase.

"We are on our way up. There's no other way to describe it,” said Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino. Another alarming statistic is the median age over the last two weeks of people testing positive for coronavirus -- 32.5 years old.

Despite the increase in numbers, Orange County's health care system continues to handle hospitalizations and there's no current capacity concerns. "With these increased number, our health outcomes continue to be okay," said Pino.

County leaders said people not following CDC guidelines in public, protest activity and an increase in testing could all contribute to the spike in numbers.

"The good news is that our numbers are still relatively low," said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. "The bad news is that those numbers are beginning to increase." He's urging residents to continue using face masks, socially distance themselves and call out businesses not following safe practices.

"We do not want to arbitrarily create a situation where that's confrontation because law enforcement has to be out enforcing whether people are wearing masks. We want voluntary compliance here within this community," said Demings.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.