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Local health expert on staying COVID-19-vigilant: wear masks, socially distance and abide by safety guidelines

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Medical professionals are still warning people not to have a false sense of security with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While case rates are down in most places across the country, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows that cases are at least ten percent higher than last week in 15 states.

WCTV’s Katie Kaplan spoke with Dr. Christie Alexander from Florida State University’s College of Medicine about staying COVID-19 vigilant.

Florida saw an increase in percent positivity this week, and there has been some fluctuation here, so it’s giving pause for concern.

The Chief Medical Correspondent says people should continue to wear masks, socially distance and abide by those measures we have been practicing for the past year.

Dr. Christie Alexander from Florida State University’s College of Medicine says the goal is to follow those procedures until there’s a large enough number of people vaccinated to create herd immunity, when enough of the population is vaccinated that those who aren’t are still protected against getting it.

“There’s been a play with the numbers about how or what percentage of the population that would entail,” said Dr. Alexander. “I’ve heard the number 70 percent. I’ve heard the number 8 percent thrown around, but it’s a pretty high number when you think about the entire population. So, we’re not there yet certainly, and we’re not totally sure when we’re going to be there.”

Dr. Alexander said that a lot of the unknowns have to do with vaccine eligibility and how many people plan to get it.

She said they’re also not sure if a recent increase in cases is due to variants or people getting “lax,” but the bottom line is that we’re not out of the woods yet.

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