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Over 2,000 new Florida coronavirus cases reported in 24 hours

State reports seven additional COVID-19 deaths

UF Health researcher Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. is working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that utilizes a gene therapy technique to fight off the virus. Kirsten Coleman, assistant director of research administration for the Powell Gene Therapy Center (foreground), lab technician Megan Wichman and biological scientist Lochlin Cravey are shown in Byrne’s lab.
UF Health researcher Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. is working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine that utilizes a gene therapy technique to fight off the virus. Kirsten Coleman, assistant director of research administration for the Powell Gene Therapy Center (foreground), lab technician Megan Wichman and biological scientist Lochlin Cravey are shown in Byrne’s lab. (Courtesy of University of Florida)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After three days in a row of record daily increases in Florida’s total of reported coronavirus cases, the state fell short of another new record Sunday when it reported more than 2,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to data released Sunday morning by the state’s health department.

It was, however, the second-highest one day increase in new COVID-19 cases since the state began tracking infections.

Florida now has 75,568 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s an increase of 11,630 in one week -- a 18.2% increase in people infected.

RELATED: The one COVID-19 statistic Florida health experts are watching closely

The surge of cases over the last 12 days coincides both with the reopening of Florida’s economy following the statewide Safer at Home lockdown and with an increase in the state’s testing capacity.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry on Friday again pointed to an increase in testing as a likely reason for the rising numbers in the raw data, but said the numbers he watches closely are the percent of positive cases and the city’s hospitalizations for coronavirus, which he said are going down. On Saturday morning, Curry appeared on Fox News and was asked about the virus.

“We were on the front of the testing when the pandemic started and we continue to, but recall when this all started, all the experts told us flatten the curve, protect the hospital and health systems --without a vaccine, the virus is with us. We’ve done that in Jacksonville. We’ve done that in Florida. Our hospitalizations are low, we watch that daily," Curry said. "We’re going to have to learn to live with this virus in a responsible way, take care of those that are most likely to get it and end up with symptoms and end up in the hospital. But we have to get people back to work and we’ve been doing that now for weeks working with our governor, and we’re going put on a big event and have a major economic impact for our businesses.”

On Saturday, the state reported a 4.46% positive for new cases. According to the state, this percent is the number of people who test positive for the first time divided by all the people tested that day, excluding people who have previously tested positive. That percent positive number was 6.21% on Friday.

The state now reports a total of 11,942 patients have been hospitalized with coronavirus, an increase of 68 new hospitalizations. Looking over the previous 12 days, the state has averaged 127.5 additional hospitalizations a day. The state does not release data specifically on how many patients are currently hospitalized with coronavirus.

As of Sunday’s report from the health department, Florida had administered 1.4 million tests for COVID-19. The state data indicate that a person can be counted more than once in the overall testing number because patients often need multiple tests over days or weeks before they are cleared to return to normal activities. The positive cases the state lists, however, are only for the first time the patient tests positive.

The state reported seven additional deaths in the state Sunday morning, bringing the total to 2,931.

Complete coronavirus data for Northeast Florida counties

Tracking the last 11 days of coronavirus case jumps (and hospitalization increases) in Florida: