As federal officials focus on the spread of subvariants of the coronavirus, the number of Florida hospital inpatients with COVID-19 continues to increase.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released data Wednesday that showed 4,322 Florida inpatients had COVID-19, up from 4,168 in a Tuesday count.
Also, the new data said 437 Florida inpatients with COVID-19 were in intensive-care units, up from 408 on Tuesday. Numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have increased in Florida in recent months as subvariants of the coronavirus have spread.
During a press briefing Tuesday, Rochelle Walensky, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the nation has seen a doubling of hospital admissions since early May.
Federal officials said the omicron subvariants known as BA.4 and BA.5 have been increasing.
“We do not know yet about the clinical severity of BA.4 and BA.5 in comparison to our other omicron subvariants, but we do know it to be more transmissible and more immune evading,” Walensky said, according to a transcript of the briefing.
She and other federal officials emphasized the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations, particularly for people over age 50 to get second booster shots.