FLORIDA, USA — Florida has recently been at the center of the latest wave of COVID-19 which has caused cases to surge all across the country, fueled mainly by the Delta variant.
The number of daily cases the state has reported rivals its winter-time peak. At the same time, doctors and nurses across the state are currently witnessing the number of patients being administered for COVID reach levels never before seen during the pandemic.
Yet, despite all this, the state's governor, Ron DeSantis, has made headlines for challenging the advice of public health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks while indoors due to how transmissible the variant is. However, DeSantis has gotten into a war of words with President Joe Biden and the White House for his refusal to allow mask mandates in schools and businesses.
The newest phase the state and the rest of the country have entered is being described as "a pandemic of the unvaccinated," by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. Hospital systems have said an overwhelming majority of patients confirmed with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
DeSantis is vaccinated. He received the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine privately, the Associated Press reports. But, Florida's overall vaccine rate places the state in a tough position during this new wave.
The CDC says vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, which helps to limit the spread of the virus and reduces hospitalizations and deaths.
Among people who have received a vaccine, the latest research shows infections are rare and for those who do experience symptoms, they tend to be mild.
Visit the Florida Department of Health's website to find a vaccine location near you.