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Florida coronavirus cases near 15,700 as deaths top 300

There are now 15,698 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state

A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11 in Lake Success, New York. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)
A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11 in Lake Success, New York. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE Fla. – Florida’s coronavirus caseload went up by more than 700 overnight with 15,456 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, according to data released Wednesday morning by the Florida Department of Health.

On Wednesday evening, the number of confirmed cases in Florida rose to 15,698 -- an additional 242. The state has reached 323 deaths.

Of Northeast Florida’s cases, Duval County continues to lead the way with 557, including 10 deaths. The remaining cases are in St. Johns (156), Alachua (144), Clay (99), Flagler (36), Nassau (29), Putnam (24), Columbia (16), Baker (15), Bradford (15) and Union (2) counties.

Clay’s death total rose to seven on Tuesday. St. Johns has two deaths, and Baker, Flagler and Putnam counties have each reported one death.

Details of coronavirus cases identified in Northeast Florida

Across the state, South Florida remains the epicenter of Florida’s caseload.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who imposed a statewide stay-at-home order last week, noted Monday that hospital bed scarcity has yet to become an issue. He noted that the state has roughly 44% bed availability. He said Miami-Dade and Broward counties are right around that mark.

Miami-Dade has by far the most cases of any county so far with 5,412.

(To view specific local data, you can track coronavirus cases by ZIP code.)

The Miami Beach Convention Center will be converted into a field hospital during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will transform the newly renovated facility into a hospital by April 27, news outlets reported Tuesday. Officials have not announced whether the convention center will house coronavirus patients or serve as an overflow hospital.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told The Miami Herald the decision to install 450 preliminary beds in the center was made in order to prepare the city for the worst-case scenario. “It will sit vacant hopefully until it is dismantled,” Gelber said.

In late March, the state built a 250-bed medical tent in a Miami-Dade park to handle possible overflow patients. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said that tent would likely remain empty as well.

Officials have not yet determined the total number of beds to place in the convention facility.

So far, the state has administered 144,570 tests. The vast majority (89.3%) of those have come back negative.


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