This is an image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The virus is now creating mutations that are spreading in the United States and elsewhere, including the Delta variant. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab
The highly-contagious Delta variant that has infected and killed residents appears to have seeped into Florida in early April, though it didn’t get much attention right away.
The Florida Phoenix requested information about the Delta variant through a public records request under Florida law, and it was then that the state health department released a report last week showing a total of 280 cases of the so-called B.1.617.2 Delta variant in Florida, as of Jun. 29.
That report included a category called “event date” that revealed Florida has seen Delta variant cases since at least early April.
According to the data, 34 out of Florida’s 67 counties have had at least one Florida resident connected to the Delta variant. But most cases were seen in Miami-Dade, Broward, Duval, Orange and Hillsborough.
The data showed three deaths from the Delta variant in Hillsborough, Miami-Dade and Pasco counties. Some other residents were hospitalized.
For instance, a 73-year-old white resident in Pasco County was hospitalized and died after contracting the Delta strain that was first identified in India.
The youngest Floridian infected by the Delta variant was a Black 2-year-old in Orange County but that individual wasn’t hospitalized, and others came in contact with a confirmed Delta case.
On average, residents connected to the Delta variant were about age 35.
The Delta variant has been sweeping the country for weeks now, and has become the predominant strain in the United States.
The state health department’s report included a summary of six variants spreading across the state, showing the highest number of infections from the United Kingdom strain, known as B.1.1.7, with 16,077 cases.
Overall, 416 people in Florida have been hospitalized from the variants. The second highest cases were from the P.1 strain that first emerged in Brazil, with 1,543 cases.
Meanwhile, Florida overall has seen a surge in daily COVID cases, with the highest number in a day reaching 21,683. That was the highest figure since the CDC began tracking the COVID case since March 2020.
Despite the trouble data, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been unyielding in his stance against safety measures such as lockdowns and face masks requirements, particularly among schoolchildren.
The data in this chart was compiled by the Phoenix using data from the Florida Department of Health. The data covers variant cases through the end of June, though the information also shows that the Delta variant cases go back to at least April of 2021 in Florida.
|County||# resident cases of Delta variant in FL (a handful are non-residents)|
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