The Phoenix Flyer

Three years of COVID-19 and it’s still here

By: - March 3, 2023 2:21 pm

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. Meanwhile, new COVID mutations called variants have spread across the U.S., including newer subvariants. Microphotography by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It was three years ago this week, when Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on a Sunday evening, March 1, 2020, that “two individuals” in Florida tested “presumptively positive” for a coronavirus called COVID-19.

It would become a global pandemic, with millions of people becoming ill or dying.

Many people have moved on from COVID, shedding masks and getting rid of social distancing and other measures and mandates. And not everyone is doing vaccines and boosters anymore.

But the numbers still show a dramatic picture.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported these numbers, as of Feb. 28 globally:

“There have been 758,390,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 6,859,093 deaths. A total of 13,228,728,467 vaccine doses have been administered.

As to the United States, the WHO figures show 102,019,564 confirmed COVID cases, and 1,109,145 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 103,499,382 COVID cases, and 1,117,856 deaths.

As to Florida, the state Department of Health reports cumulative COVID cases at 7,473,371, and 86,294 deaths. That’s an analysis in mid-February. The department releases COVID data every two weeks. (The CDC reports Florida as 7,528,420, as of March 2, and 86,460 total deaths.)

The highest case numbers have been in urban enclaves, with 1,531,478 cases in Miami-Dade; followed by 766,482 in Broward, 475,077 in Palm Beach; 475,020 in Hillsborough and 470,873 in Orange County, according to the health department’s analysis.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.