Experts have said fears of a ‘fourth wave’ hitting the US may have been overblown as Florida continues to record falling coronavirus cases and deaths despite having more cases of the UK’s super-COVID variant than any other state.
CDC data shows a fifth of all US cases of the more highly contagious and more deadly B.1.1.7 strain first detected in the south of England have come from the Sunshine State.
In total, Florida has recorded 690 cases, dwarfing much of the rest of the US where 44 of all 50 states have recorded fewer than 100 cases. The next highest state Michigan has 563 followed by Colorado with 267.
The prevalence of the new strain on US soil sparked fears of a fourth wave of the virus, just as the nation was getting back on its feet and states were reopening.
All eyes have been on Florida as – alongside the high number of variant cases – the state has also pursued one of the most aggressive reopening plans and has no mask mandate in place.
This will heap pressure on other states that have significantly lower rates of UK COVID and overall coronavirus cases, to follow suit and reopen.
In recent weeks, swathes of maskless spring breakers have flocked to packed bars and beaches and Governor Ron DeSantis has urged people to visit the state to get its economy back up and running.
But while fears were mounting that the strain and a relaxation of rules would create a melting pot for the new virus strain, cases and deaths have continued to follow a downward trend across the state.