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How did Florida end up with one of the best COVID-19 cases and death rates in the US?

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Just two months ago, Florida experienced the worst COVID-19 wave in the United States.

The Sunshine State had the highest seven-day average of cases per day and also the highest number of hospitalizations in the country.

Despite these grim statistics, Governor Ron DeSantis has not issued any new lockdowns, closures or stay-at-homes, arguing that the spike was due to a seasonal pattern of the virus and urging residents to get vaccinated.

Now, with Halloween and Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Covid crisis in Florida looks very different.

It is inexplicable that the number of cases and deaths has fallen, despite DeSantis not taking any new mitigation measures.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that Florida records one of the best cases and death rates in the country.

This is similar to what is seen nationwide as Covid-related infections and fatalities in the US drop to the lowest level since April 2021.

In addition, the state is doing as well as California, despite the fact that the West Coast state has a very strict approach, which includes implementing mask mandates, limiting gatherings and bar closings, and indoor dining at restaurants.

Falling rates may change as Floridians move in for the winter months — possibly pushing cases back up — but as of now, it looks like the downward trends in Florida will only continue.

FLORIDA CASES: At the peak of Florida’s recent COVID-19 wave, state recorded 101 cases per 100,000, which has since fallen to nine new cases per 100,000

FLORIDA DEADS: Florida recorded 1.77 new deaths per 100,000 people at wave peak, which has since fallen to less than 0.01 deaths per 100,000

FLORIDA DEADS: Florida recorded 1.77 new deaths per 100,000 people at wave peak, which has since fallen to less than 0.01 deaths per 100,000

In mid-August, the COVID-19 crisis may have looked no worse than Florida.

The state reached a record high of 26,000 Covid cases reported in one day or about 101 cases per 100,000 people.

This is 44 percent higher than the previous peak of 18,000 cases per day recorded in January 2021, according to CDC data.

During this time, there were 17,200 COVID-19 hospitalizations — three times more than the 5,700 seen just a month earlier.

In addition, Florida reported a record 227 deaths per day or 1.77 per 100,000 in mid-August.

However, Governor DeSantis defended himself against critics, telling Fox News in an August 26 interview that the state had “great success” treating COVID-19 patients early with monoclonal antibodies.

He also reprimanded President Joe Biden for failing to end the pandemic.

“You know, he said he would end Covid. He didn’t,” DeSantis told host Jesse Watters.

“In the end, he’s trying to find a way to distract from the failures of his presidency.”

At the time, doctors and public health experts said DeSantis’ laissez-faire approach was a gamble, but it seems to be paying off.

CDC data shows that as of Wednesday, Florida is registering 64 cases per 100,000 people in a week or nine cases per 100,000 people per day.

This means that The Sunshine State has the best case count in the country, behind California, Mississippi, Hawaii and Alabama, respectively.

Currently, California records 28 cases per 100,000 people in a week or three cases per 100,000 people per day.

The declines are despite Governor Ron DeSantis urging the state not to shut down and refusing to implement mask or vaccine mandates and instead focus efforts on early treatment.  Pictured: DeSantis speaking at a press conference at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, August 2021

The declines are despite Governor Ron DeSantis urging the state not to shut down and refusing to implement mask or vaccine mandates and instead focus efforts on early treatment. Pictured: DeSantis speaking at a press conference at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, August 2021

Experts have suggested that the declines appear to have followed a known two-month cycle since the pandemic began with cases and deaths increasing for about two months before falling, as seen in other states that have experienced summer peaks, such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas

Experts have suggested that the declines appear to have followed a known two-month cycle since the pandemic began with cases and deaths increasing for about two months before falling, as seen in other states that have experienced summer peaks, such as Alabama, Louisiana and Texas

The same curve can be seen in Covid deaths.

Florida records 0.2 deaths per 100,000 people in a week, making it the second best state in the country.

It is behind only California and New Mexico, which register 0.1 deaths per 100,000 people in a week.

Both stats are despite DeSantis’ refusal to allow companies and schools to implement mask and vaccine mandates.

This is similar to what has been seen in the US with the recent Delta variant-driven wave.

On September 1, America had an average of 49.9 cases per 100,000. As of Wednesday, this has dropped to 21.2 cases per 100,000.

Despite very different approaches to the pandemic, Florida and California record nearly the same number of average cases and deaths per day

Despite very different approaches to the pandemic, Florida and California record nearly the same number of average cases and deaths per day

So does the governor deserve all the credit for the betterment of Florida? Not necessary.

These declines appear to have followed a familiar two-month cycle since the pandemic began in early 2020, with cases and deaths rising for about two months before declining, according to David Leonhardt of The New York Times.

Early explanations — such as that the virus is seasonal, such as the flu, or adherence to mask-wearing and increasing and decreasing social distancing — have not held up.

More logical explanations, however, are that as people have contracted COVID-19 in the past two months, the virus (slowly) runs out of people to infect.

Since the pandemic began, Covid has often followed a regular – albeit mysterious – cycle. In country after country, the number of new cases often rose for about two months before starting to decline,” Leonhardt wrote.

“The Delta variant, despite its intense infectiousness, has followed this pattern.”

This means that a variant may only need eight weeks to spread through a community before it starts to recede.

This is exactly what happened in Florida, with cases starting to rise in early July and decreasing in mid-September, on the two-month schedule.

And it’s not the only state: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas, all of which saw cases rise during the recent fourth wave, have seen a decline since early September.

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