PANHANDLE, Fla. (WMBB) — The new year has brought a new surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S.

The U.S. is currently seeing the highest number of COVID-19 cases in nearly 5 months.

“We are seeing more cases of people that are calling in that are having high fevers or respiratory problems, coughing,” Family Physician Myra Reed said. 

The Sunshine State is being hit particularly hard with an average of nearly 5,900 new cases a day a 90% increase from two weeks ago. 

“I would say probably about five a day from my population and I have a smaller practice, but I’m definitely going from zero to five a day,” Reed said.

The region of Florida with some of the most staggering numbers is Jackson County. 

They have the 5th highest number of new cases per capita of any county in the United States. 

They have over a 300% increase over the average two weeks earlier. 

“Viruses have a mind of their own that’s the whole thing about it is that viruses are very hard to corral,” Reed said. “And they change, they mutate and so it just so happens, like if a virus starts just starts changing and mutating and it becomes more contagious, then that strain is going to just kind of start spreading around.”

Early this week Governor Ron DeSantis announced at the Todd Heredeen Theatre that he is working to permanently prohibit vaccine and mask mandates.

Regardless of your political stance, Reed said there are things we can do to help protect ourselves.

If you show any signs of COVID, doctors said it’s important that take an at-home test or seek medical attention.