PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (CBS12) — Florida is entering the next phase of reopening and moving forward, COVID-19 cases and vaccine numbers will only be released on a weekly basis.
10.3 million Floridians, or nearly half the state, are fully vaccinated. As of Monday, cases are on the decline in Florida and the state department of health reports the positivity rate has remained below five percent for three consecutive weeks.
Social distancing measures have been lifted and masks are optional at most places. The DOH believes the pandemic is under control and daily reported is no longer necessary.
However, some people would still like to know the number of positive cases in the state and especially in their own town.
"The more information we get the better we are," Leni Valens told CBS12 News.
Valens feels indifferent about the daily vaccine numbers.
"The vaccine numbers are good, but I read them once and it doesn’t matter to me now," he said.
Judie Budnick is on board with the state dropping daily reporting.
"However if we do see an uptick, I would like to see it started again," she said.
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"Are we in the clear?" CBS12 News Reporter Stefany Valderrama asked.
"We are much better off today than we were last year," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Olyami Osiyemi.
Experts believe the decline in cases and hospitalizations, and the rise of vaccines give the state confidence there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, tracking data is still crucial because a sudden surge could be missed.
"I think any state has to be quite transparent in regards to the data that is provided," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe.
"I think that we haven’t reached the threshold that we want for the vaccine, so if we don’t have any idea who is vaccinated, how do we know we have reached that threshold? So knowing the numbers is still important," said Dr. Osiyemi.
Especially now with summer upon us, a big-time for traveling, and variants are running rampant in other countries.
"It would be a good thing to still have kind of surveillance system in place to make sure we are not getting any highly resistance variants coming into the country," Osiyemi told CBS12 News.