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Action Needed As Coronavirus Surge Intensifies, Public Health Official Says

A coronavirus test kit
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A coronavirus test kit

With more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in Florida now, public health experts are saying a second spike in infections is underway.

Donna Petersen is dean of the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. She says it's impossible to completely eliminate the illness, but wearing face coverings and keeping six feet apart from others really does help slow the spread.

She says that was the case three months ago, and it continues even as the state has reopened many activities.

"People need to follow this advice whether we didn't shut down at all, whether we opened earlier or opened up late. As long as the virus is still with us, we have to do what we can to prevent it. That's just a fact," Petersen said.

Petersen was a guest Tuesday on The State We're In - a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida Editor Julio Ochoa also appeared on the show. 

Petersen says until there is a vaccine, or the vast majority of people become immune to coronavirus, social distancing and masks are the strongest tools available.

To see more content, visit The State We're In Facebook page.

This story is produced in partnership with American Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7.

Dinorah Prevost is a WUSF Public Media news intern for summer 2018.
Mary Shedden is news director at WUSF Public Media, where she oversees a team of reporters covering 13 counties on Florida’s west coast.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.
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