JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Jacksonville and the state of Florida continue moving through Phase One of reopening from the coronavirus pandemic, the I-TEAM is tracking how the number of cases of COVID-19 has grown in ZIP codes across Duval County in recent weeks.
“Folks, this virus is with us,” said Mayor Lenny Curry, during a Thursday news conference. “There will be days when we will get more positives. There will be days when folks are hospitalized.”
The mayor added that the city’s overall percentage of COVID-19 tests that return positive is around 3%, which he said has been declining over recent weeks. Still, with continued testing around Jacksonville, more residents are being diagnosed with the virus.
The I-TEAM analyzed Florida Department of Health data for the number of cases in each ZIP code from April 26 to the present. The department said the data is primarily based on a patient’s residential or mailing address, but if those details are missing, a case may be assigned to the ZIP code of a healthcare provider or testing lab.
In ZIP code 32208, just south of the Trout River, the number of cases has increased 70% since April 26, rising from 46 cases to 78 cases.
On the Westside, in ZIP code 32210, the I-TEAM noted a 95% increase during the same time period, from 57 cases to 111 cases. State records do show that during that time period, a nursing home in the area had more than 20 patients test positive for the virus, accounting for a portion of the area’s increase.
In the Northwest Jacksonville ZIP code of 32209, the number of cases nearly doubled, from 21 on April 26th, to 41 today. That neighborhood is one of the areas where UF Health set up community-based testing in mid-April, in an effort to reach patients in under-served neighborhoods.
We found another significant increase on the Southside, in ZIP code 32216. There, the number of cases rose from 49 to 82, an increase of 67%.
However, numerous areas showed a much slower spread of the virus. For example, in ZIP code 32223, in Mandarin, the number of cases rose by only one during this time period, from 16 to 17.
Mayor Curry reminded everyone on Thursday that regardless of where you live, it’s important to take precautions for yourself and the people around you.
“When you’re in public, please consider wearing a mask when you’re in enclosed spaces. There is nothing weak about it. It is simply being responsible,” Curry said. “Think about the other person. You may be young you may be physically healthy, there may be somebody in that space that has a compromised immune system, maybe somebody in that space.”