Interactive chart projects Florida’s coronavirus peak to be May 3

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

The Florida surgeon general told Lee Health’s CEO the state’s peak for the coronavirus is expected to happen in May, and we learned this is later than many other states.

A new interactive chart by University of Washington projects May 3 as the day coronavirus spread will be at its peak in Florida.

We asked Dr. Rebekah Bernard, a member of the Collier County Medical Society, why Florida’s peak is more than a month away. She said there isn’t a single reason alone for the peak.

“We know areas that are hotter and have more sunlight, so those are factors that may deactivate the virus,” Bernard said. “We do have a lot of visitors from places like New York that may impact our total number of cases and spread of the virus.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked for cooperation statewide to help lessen and stop the spread of COVID-19.

“This is the time to listen to all your local officials,” DeSantis said. “Do that until the middle of May, and we’ll see where we’re at.”

By then, the interactive charts show we might be over the worst of it.

We asked Bernard if that means life will be back to normal at that time.

“So say we get past the first peak, and everybody’s like, ‘OK, we’re safe; let’s go back to our normal life,’” Bernard said. “Then, we see a second peak.”

Cases in Southwest Florida are currently doubling every three to four days as of Monday.

The charts show, while Florida is projected to face a shortage of intensive care unit beds, the state is not expected to be short on overall hospital beds.

One notable positive due to Florida’s later peak is more time to prepare.

“I think we’re going to be able to overcome it,” Bernard said. “It’s just we need to buy enough time to get there.”

MORE: U.S. COVID-19 projections by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

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