LEE COUNTY, Fla. —COVID-19 cases are on the rise across Florida. Lee Health reported on Monday they have a 111 patients battling COVID-19 in their facilities - that’s a 300 percent jump from last May.
Now, some cases are showing up where your children are spending their summer vacation.
The health department in Leon County Florida credited their spike in COVID-19 cases earlier this month, partially to outbreaks at summer camps.
Jay Gupta, Director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Public Health Program says some camps raise more concerns than others.
“I am more concerned about the indoor camps than about the outdoor ones, because the chances of spreading COVID-19 in outdoor circumstances is much lower compared to the indoor one,” he said.
He says that doesn’t mean it’s not happening outdoors if children aren’t careful. Gupta added children can be carriers of the virus, just like adults.
“We do not have data to dispute that children under the age of 12 years cannot transmit the infection,” he said.
He says how you protect your child is up to you, but he encourages parents to keep taking the same precautions health experts urged them to take at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Whether there’s a mandate in place or not, parents should considering children wear masks,” he said.
He added the U.S. won’t be able to do that until herd immunity is reached, or more than 80 percent of the population becomes immune to COVID-19. According to Our World in Data, as of Monday, only about 49 percent of the U.S. is fully vaccinated.
Gupta says the more people that spread the virus, the higher the chances for it to mutate, as we currently see with the highly contagious delta variant. So far, Lee County has one reported Delta variant case, and Collier County has six, as of July 1st, according to respective departments of health.
Lee Health mentioned patients who are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 are between the ages of 13 and 97, reminding people that the virus does not discriminate.