South Florida sophomore year with Covid 2021 – CBS Miami
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When it comes to the story of COVID in Florida in 2021, it would be easy to say that the economy, politics, and political talk about COVID have far eclipsed the ongoing medical fight to save lives. lives and prevent the spread of disease.
Governor Ron DeSantis has maintained his belief in individual freedom of choice when it comes to vaccines and masks.
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“Your right to earn a living shouldn’t depend on COVID injections,” DeSantis said often as he continued his fight to keep Floridians employed, opposed mandatory workplace requirements that employees must be vaccinated and with compulsory masks for students.
In late November, the governor called a special legislative session that approved legislation banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates from employees in the Sunshine State.
DeSantis enacted the measure that prevented schools, local governments and businesses from adopting strict vaccine rules for employees or students. DeSantis bills also prohibited school districts from serving mask mandates.
It was a year the governor spared school districts, cruise lines, county governments about mandatory vaccinations and mandatory masks. Ahead of the special session, the Miami-Dade and Broward school districts opted for the optional use of masks for students.
Many students agreed with this, telling CBS4 that they would continue to wear their masks at school.
“I think we’re going in a better direction, you can take them off,” student Amari Griffin said.
Earlier in the summer, COVID peaked in South Florida. According to the Florida Health Department, the positivity rate for all of Florida was 18.1%. Broward registered a positivity rate of 14%, Miami-Dade reached 12.1% and Monroe registered 16.2%. Hospitalizations were also approaching their peak.
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Dr Yvonne Johnson, chief medical officer at Baptist South Miami Hospital, told CBS4: “Eighty to eighty-five percent of people hospitalized are not vaccinated and 100 percent of people in my IUC are. not.
Government officials have urged the unvaccinated to get vaccinated and be given a booster.
As the year ended, hospitalizations declined. About 13,184,332 eligible Floridians – 61.4% of the state’s population – have completed the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In Miami-Dade, about 2,116,458 people, or 77.9% of the county’s population, are fully vaccinated. In Broward, approximately 1,272,822 people are fully immunized, or 65.2% of the county’s population.
While the pandemic is far from over, 2021 has had a much different vibe. Florida theme parks were open, restaurants were full, bars were bustling, concerts were back, and hotels began to see occupancy close to pre-pandemic numbers.
Broward Tourism Chief Stacey Ritter was relieved that the tourists were returning.
“There is a great pent-up demand here. People want to get out, ”Ritter said.
Yet, amid the optimism, the advent of “the new normal”, COVID numbers have piled up. As of March 2020, Florida has recorded more than three and a half million cases of COVID and more than 62,000 deaths. At the end of the year, after weeks of decline, COVID cases began to increase and South Florida kept a cautious eye on the emerging variant of the omicron.
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2021 was a year of discovery, how to deal with the new normal, the omicron variant a new threat, but life went on. Floridians were out and about following the Governor’s example. Florida was open for business.