Health experts are concerned that Florida could be the next epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic. The state has seen a rise in new cases, setting a new record of daily cases over the past several days.

A team of scientists from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania is warning that the pandemic is likely to get worse in Florida. They said that their computer model indicated that the state has “all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission.”

This worries many health experts. Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told CNN, “The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences” because of the state’s aging population and the prevalence of nursing homes and retirement communities.

Despite the rising number of new cases, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vowed not to shut down the state. Instead, he promised to protect the elderly and those at risk of developing severe complications from the virus.