Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Gulf County at a rate quickly outpacing that of the last surge.
According to data released by the CDC, there were 271 active cases in Gulf County on Friday, Jan. 14, the highest number the county has seen at one time since the start of the pandemic and an increase of more than 80 percent from the week before.
Statewide, there were more than 430,000 new covid cases this week.
This surge in cases is widely attributed to the omicron variant of the disease, which is considered to be much more contagious than past mutations. But omicron has, so far, also shown to be less severe than other variants of the virus. Ascension Sacred Heart reported in a release Friday that while they have seen more cases of COVID in the community, the symptoms experienced by their patients are, on average, more mild than in past surges.
However, the heath care network was clear that this does not eliminate the risk of serious infection, and some patients with COVID-19 continue to be admitted into the region’s hospitals.
Ascension and the CDC maintain that vaccinated individuals are more likely to experience mild or no symptoms than unvaccinated individuals.
A little over half of Gulf County’s total population has been fully vaccinated.
The CDC has released some more relaxed guidelines for isolation following a positive test result, shortening the isolation period to five days and 24 hours without fever in most instances.
Those who experience severe infections should isolate for ten days and consult with a medical professional before leaving isolation.
To find a list of testing locations in Gulf County, please visit https://gulf.floridahealth.gov/events/2022/01/testing-locations.html.