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As Florida hits a record number of new COVID-19 cases, epidemiologists warn the next 2 weeks could be alarming

Models show the state will see another large spike of coronavirus cases due to Father's Day weekend.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —

As Florida sees another record number of new coronavirus cases, infectious disease experts say the data is alarming.  

"We don't want to see this. You don't want to see another giant peak. That brings us back to where we were at the start of this pandemic," Dr. Jill Roberts with the University of South Florida Public Health said.

Now, with more than 109,000 positive COVID-19 cases since June 24, doctors say the virus is spreading rapidly while the median age of those getting sick continues to fall.

"I'm worried that the people who are infected right now are in that 24-and-up age group. A lot of them live with their parents. A lot of them went to go visit their parents for Father's Day," Dr. Roberts said.

Roberts says that time with family could cost us because it provided a new opportunity for contact. Anyone who's young and asymptomatic can spread it to someone who's older without knowing it. Now doctors at USF are predicting another spike in two weeks. 

"We may see that demographic age start to shift back up again, which we don't want to see because that puts people at higher risk," Dr. Roberts said.

Testing in Florida is dropping, but the percentage of people testing positive is on the rise. Dr. Roberts says only the most serious cases are being detected and thousands will go undetected. 

"It could be that a lot of the cases are bringing in people who are young, so they're not worried. They have a mild illness and mild symptoms. They're not coming to get tested at all," Dr. Roberts said.

The only thing that could curve test numbers down is the mask orders put in place by some cities and counties across the state.

"It's possible that having done that we'll actually start shifting our cases down in the next couple of weeks," Dr. Roberts said.

RELATED: Florida's COVID-19 testing slowed as cases spiked

RELATED: Florida lawmakers urge Gov. DeSantis to issue a statewide mask order

RELATED: Tracking the coronavirus outbreak in Florida

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