The latest numbers show the state has tested about nine times more people for coronavirus than it did just a week ago. At the same time, the number of positive cases has surged.
It makes sense that if you test more, you’ll find more coronavirus. But that’s only a partial explanation for the swift rise in Covid-19 cases.
USF Public Health Professor Jay Wolfson says the lack of testing up until now means that people who didn’t know they were infected could have given the virus – in a worst case -- to a thousand people in a week.
“The curve that we’ve been seeing is going to continue to rise precipitously, I think, for several reasons,” Wolfson said. “One is that there are undiagnosed, active cases that will be in our community for a long time.”
Wolfson says there are still not enough test kits, and a significant lag time for the results. That will be rectified in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, he said, the curve will continue to increase sharply.
Dr. Ajoy Kumar, Chief Medical Officer at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, also said he’s concerned about asymptomatic people spreading the virus. He said everyone should be maintaining social distancing, even if they feel fine.
“People want solid answers, and that’s hard because we’re just studying it right now,” Kumar said. “We’re literally building this plane as we’re flying it.”
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online at WUSF.org/give.