COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise this week, but health officials are doing all they can to advocate for statewide vaccinations.
There are currently no active COVID-19 cases on any FAU campuses.
But starting on Aug. 17, students will begin moving onto campus for the fall semester. Move-in appointments must be scheduled online through the FAU housing portal and each student must take a COVID test on the day of their move-in appointment. COVID testing will take place in Parking Garage 2. Students can pre-register for testing here.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
The daily average of COVID-19 cases in Palm Beach County is still increasing despite local vaccination efforts. Last week, the average per day was 127, but now it sits at 198.
Nearly half of the PBC population is fully vaccinated, but it isn’t enough, according to public health officials.
“As soon as the masks come off and you go downtown, you go everywhere you see people that are not masked and they’re not vaccinated, so of course, the virus is going to spread,” Dr. Alina Alonso said. The Palm Beach County health director hopes to see vaccination rates rise from their current stagnancy.
The county is still offering grocery vouchers to residents who receive a vaccine at certain locations as an incentive.
Vaccinations are made convenient by the Health Care District Mobile Clinic, which is a vehicle that travels to different locations in the county. To find out where the mobile clinic will be next, click here.
As of July 16, the state is averaging 5,621 COVID-19 cases a day, which is 2,933 more than last week. The New York Times reported a 232% increase in cases in the last 14 days.
“Just four states accounted for more than 40% of all cases in the past week, with 1 in 5 of all cases occurring in Florida alone,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said during a recent briefing.
According to the New York Times, 47% of Florida’s population is fully vaccinated. It’s not enough to stop the spread, though. Health officials are especially concerned about children returning to school in August.
“It’s extremely worrisome, especially as schools are reopening fully in the fall,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, the president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “We are going to be ramping up our efforts.” She helps run multiple mobile vaccination clinics in South Florida and plans to target underprivileged areas, according to CNN.
Vaccination rates were increasing for months before the current dormancy.
“We were heading in the right direction. People were getting their vaccines, people were continuing to be careful while they got their vaccines, but we jumped the gun,” Dr. Aileen Marty said. The professor of infectious diseases at Florida International University believes that unvaccinated people followed the guidelines the CDC presented for vaccinated people and it led to another spike.
Parents and health officials appear to have one main goal: get as many kids vaccinated as possible before they return to school.
“I recommend to everybody to just go do it,” said Danielle Chin, mother of three. “I hope parents see how important it is to take their kids to go get vaccinated before school starts.”
Kendall Little is the Managing Editor for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.