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3 more COVID-19 related deaths in Alachua County; Florida now at 1,268

50 deaths reported in 24 hours as statewide coronavirus caseload reaches 33,690

A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation on Feb. 28. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus at Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery and Innovation on Feb. 28. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Alachua County more than doubled its previous death total with three new coronavirus-related deaths reported since Wednesday, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

Alachua County previously had just two deaths countywide, but that number jumped to five in the last 24 hours. Florida is now updating its testing data once a day on the state health department’s website.

All three of the Alachua County patients who died had contact with confirmed coronavirus cases and none of their cases were considered travel-related. The patients were a 60-year-old woman (case counted April 9), a 66-year-old woman (first counted April 20) and an 83-year-old man (case first counted April 21).

According to the latest numbers from the state, Alachua County also increased its long-term care related deaths by three, indicating the three patients listed above were all connected to long-term care facilities.

Alachua County has been among the hardest hit counties in Northeast Florida, with 267 positive coronavirus cases. Clay County now has 273 with 15 deaths and Duval County has 1,012 with 20 deaths.

Across 11 Northeast Florida counties, a total of 2,183 cases and 54 deaths have been confirmed.

As of Wednesday, 33,690 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida including 5,589 people who have been hospitalized. Total cases increased by less than 500 from Wednesday’s state numbers. It remains unclear how many people have gotten better since the state does not provide recovery data.

County-by-county coronavirus cases

Over 384,000 tests have been administered across Florida since early March, according to the health department. The vast majority (90.7%) of results have come back negative.

Thursday’s data comes on the heels of Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing his plan for Phase 1 of reopening Florida’s economy.

Unveiling an initiative called “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step,” DeSantis on Wednesday announced restaurants and retail stores in most parts of the state will be allowed to reopen Monday at 25% capacity.

DeSantis’ order will also allow hospitals and surgical centers to restart nonessential, elective procedures -- but only if they have sufficient medical supplies and agree to help nursing homes and assisted living facilities prevent and respond to coronavirus outbreaks. Parks, golf courses and other outdoor recreation areas already began reopening in some counties Wednesday.


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