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Summer COVID Surge Causing Long Lines At South Florida Test Sites

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - As COVID infections soar in South Florida, demand for testing is causing long lines at testing sites.

"I want to make sure I don't have the COVID," said Caroline Rozo as she waited at the Zoo Miami test site.

She said was there because her daughters were sick and she wasn't feeling well.

"Now I'm sick and I'm feeling a little worse. It's coughing, headaches, congestion," said Rozo.

New numbers released Friday by the state show another week of rising COVID case numbers.

The Florida Department of Health reported 151,415 newly reported cases throughout the Sunshine state, up nearly 17-thousand cases from the previous week. The state vaccination rate is 65%, up from 63% last week.

There were also another 286 newly reported deaths for a total of 40,766 deaths.

The state's new case positivity rate rose to 19.3%. It was 18.1% the previous week.

The state reported an average positivity rate of 12.4 percent in Miami-Dade, 16.5 percent in Broward, and 22.4 percent in Monroe County.

"The rate of increase has been very, very quick compared to last year," said Dr. Hany Atallah, Chief Medical Officer at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Atallah said he expects a peak of COVID cases across the state by the end of August. He thinks the sharp, quick rise in cases happened because we let our guard down too soon.

"You know, it's that light at the end of the tunnel, which I agree was there, which kind of veered us off course. We started to relax very quickly. I think we could have relaxed, as it turns out, but we didn't have enough people vaccinated to relax to the degree that we did," he said.

In Miami-Dade the vaccination rate has risen from 81 percent to 83 percent, Broward's vaccination rate is up to 74 percent, and Monroe County has increased its vaccination rate from 72 percent to 74 percent.

But there is still the push for more shots in arms. Doctors are concerned because of the increase in younger people who are showing up at the hospital very sick.

Click here to find a testing location near you.

Click here to find a vaccination location near you.

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