PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Northwest Florida, reaching peak pandemic levels.
As of Tuesday, Escambia County hospitalizations have spiked to 233 between Sacred Heart, Baptist and West Florida hospitals.
There were 113 hospitalizations a week ago, and on July 4, just a month ago, there were only 32 hospitalizations — a much more comfortable number for county hospitals.
Cases also continue to spike.
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health showcases in Escambia County have more than doubled in the last week compared to the week before.
Cases in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties have nearly doubled. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday this spike is similar to what Florida saw last year.
“We’re about two to three weeks later in the summer than when we saw the rise last year, but it goes up,” DeSantis said. “It expands very quickly, the growth slows, it plateaus, and then it goes down.”
Local health experts saying the cases will continue to spike until immunization becomes a priority.
“We will continue to see this significant increase in new cases until the unvaccinated decide to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Wess Farr, a lecturer at the University of West Florida and infectious disease expert. “If a large portion of the unvaccinated choose now to get vaccinated, we should see the numbers decrease.”