BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida has reached another grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic.

On December 24, the Centers for Disease Control reported 32,850 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. They said these are the most positive cases reported on a single day since the pandemic started.

Weekly data from the Florida Department of Health shows that the number of cases from the week of December 10 to the week of December 17 more than quadrupled.

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In Bay County, cases more than doubled in that same time frame. As of December 23, health officials recorded 170 new positive cases covid cases.

News 13 spoke with a few local physicians’ offices who said testing has really picked up over the last few weeks.

We also checked out COVID-19 testing availability on PanCare’s website. At the Panama City location, every available slot this week is full. 

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We reached out to officials from Ascension Sacred Heart for comment, but they were unable to do an in-person interview.

However, they gave a statement:

Ascension Sacred Heart Bay, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast and Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf are currently seeing a slight increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. At this time, COVID-19 hospitalizations remain low especially in comparison to the delta variant surge in the summer.  

Ascension Sacred Heart Bay continues to urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Other tools to fight COVID-19 are wearing masks in public indoor settings and getting tested if you have symptoms.