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Tampa Bay Times 12/22/21

University of Florida health experts now believe that omicron will slowly grow through December 2021, rapidly in January and peak in February 2022.

Florida, like other parts of the country and in countries around the world, has seen its COVID cases spike in recent days. Florida reported 8,785 new COVID-19 cases the highest single-day report since 10,073 on Sept. 22, at the tail end of the delta variant. The surge in cases has caused the three-day average of cases to jump to 6,431, a 164 percent increase from the three-day average a week before.

According to the most likely model, cases will peak at around 40,000 per day in February — a 74 percent increase from the worst peak the state has seen thus far. During the delta wave, cases peaked in August when the state was adding, on average, about 23,000 cases a day.

Deaths, however, are not projected to reach the levels they did during the delta wave. In September, when deaths peaked in Florida due to the delta variant, around 403 Floridians, on average, were dying each day.

The models predict that anywhere from 100-250 Floridians might be dying each day during the omicron wave, though that largely depends on the severity of omicron, which is not yet fully known. Public health experts say there’s still not enough data to know for sure and the models could change.


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