A University of Florida researcher is predicting that up to 80% of Florida residents will have caught the omicron variant before the current wave subsides. Florida data, released yesterday, does show some hope that omicron is peaking in Florida and may be headed down with South Florida leading the way. But even when Omicron is gone get ready to learn more Greek letters. Scientists warn that omicron’s whirlwind advance practically ensures it won’t be the last version of the coronavirus to worry the world. Every infection provides a chance for the virus to mutate, and omicron has an edge over its predecessors: It spreads way faster despite emerging on a planet with a stronger patchwork of immunity from vaccines and prior illness. That means more people in whom the virus can further evolve. Experts don’t know what the next variants will look like or how they might shape the pandemic, but they say there’s no guarantee the sequels of omicron will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them. They urge wider vaccination now, while today’s shots still work.
CSSE is reporting 67,172,295 positive cases in the U.S. and 853,536 deaths. DOH reported for the week ending January 13, 4,992,265 confirmed cases in Florida with 63,158 deaths.