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In latest Florida report, 22.75% of people tested were positive for COVID

Department of Health warns that smaller numbers tested during will skew data

People in line for COVID-19 test at the state's site at Regency Square. (WJXT/Kevin Talley)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida grew by more than 12,000 cases Tuesday amid positivity rates not seen since July -- Florida’s peak of the pandemic. The 22.75% positivity rate statewide based -- nearly double that in some counties -- was driven by a small number of people tested due to closing and/or limited hours of testing sites on Christmas and the holiday weekend.

While the 12,075 cases reported by the Florida Department of Health was not a record one-day increase in Florida, there were 1,024 new cases in Duval County reported Tuesday -- by far the most in a single day since the pandemic began.

Since March 1, there have been 1,292,252 residents and people visiting the state diagnosed with COVID-19. There have been 59,515 positive tests in Jacksonville in the last 10 months.

There were 105 additional deaths in Florida reported Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 21,718. Two of those were Jacksonville residents and one was in Clay County.

There were 6,280 people hospitalized in the state Tuesday afternoon with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 -- 479 more hospitalizations of COVID-19 than the previous day.

Only 40,372 tests results came in Monday, compared to an average of well over 100,000 each day last week, prompting the DOH to add this disclaimer Tuesday: “As we continue to experience office closures and holidays through January 4, 2021, it is possible that data may continue to be impacted over the coming days.”

According to the state’s vaccination dashboard: 17,117 first doses were administered Tuesday, bringing the total in the state to 146,160. Vaccines were given Tuesday to the first senior citizens not in long-term care facilities.

Sign-ups for those 65 years of age and older opened in Clay County Tuesday and will open at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Duval County. St. Johns County said their plan for community vaccinations would be announced soon. The first vaccines in Northeast Florida will be administered Monday.

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Created WJXT.com in 1995 and managed The Local Station's website ever since.