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'The Trend Is Absolutely Up' FIU Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Aileen Marty On Spike In Florida COVID Cases

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Monday morning the medical team at Hard Rock Stadium was very busy, as lines of people waited to be tested for COVID-19.

This as cases here, along with the rest of the country, are on the rise.

"We now have 11 million people with COVID-19 in the United States and we have lost so many people. We have lost 246,000 people to COVID–19," said Dr. Aileen Marty.

Dr. Marty, an infectious disease specialist at the Florida International University, has been on the frontlines of the pandemic since the very beginning.

She said healthcare professionals are now under more pressure as hospitals are seeing a spike of not just first time COVID patients.

"Studies have shown that as many as 17 percent of the people who have been positive have resolved their problem and done okay, are the ones that are now testing re-positive. Among those people who test re-positive, there are people who are ending up this time in the hospital," said Dr. Marty.

Florida's positivity rate was close to 10 percent this weekend. Just two weeks ago the positivity rate was about 5.8 percent.

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On Sunday, more than 10 thousand new infections were reported by the Florida Health Department. It is the highest number of new cases the state has seen since July.

The daily positivity rate within the tri-county area is climbing. Monroe County has a positivity rate of 15 percent, Broward County is at 8 percent, and Miami-Dade County is near 8.7 percent.

Florida's daily positivity was around 9 percent over the weekend.

"The trend is absolutely up. The spike could be because of two reasons. Number one has to do with the parties that happened around Halloween and also there is an impact from the political rallies," said Dr. Marty.

Last week, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, announced its COVID-19 vaccine may soon be available.

However, it's not time to put down your masks just yet.

"We have no idea whether the vaccine blocks the transmission of the virus," said Dr. Marty.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, medical experts ask you to limit your gathering to 10 people and to social distance when eating.

"People, especially young people, have to be aware of the incredibly high numbers of people who post-COVID continue to have significant symptoms. Long term complications of COVID may be complications for the rest of their lives," said Dr. Marty.

Last Thursday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez addressed the rise in cases.

"Our numbers are increasing from about 700 cases a week about two weeks ago to about a thousand cases a week," said Suarez.

On Monday, the mayor's office said there are no plans for another lockdown or more restrictions on businesses in Miami.

Governor Ron DeSantis's executive order in September limited those options for city and county leaders.

Mayor Suarez's office said he will be part of a coronavirus task force meeting on Tuesday with national experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.

CBS4 reached out to Mayor Carlos Gimenez's office, but the newly-elected Congressman is in Washington, D.C. for orientation and was not available for comment.

The office of Miami-Dade Mayor-Elect Daniella Levine Cava, who will be sworn in on Tuesday, issued the following statement.

"Ahead of tomorrow's installation, the Mayor-Elect will be briefed by the County Attorney's office on the set of executive orders at the state level and how the county will work within those frameworks to protect the health and safety of the residents and ensure the economic recovery continues for Miami-Dade. She will be touching on the latest with the coronavirus crisis during her installation tomorrow."

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