JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of new daily coronavirus cases reported by Florida health officials jumped by another record high on Tuesday morning with 2,783 confirmed cases reported in the last 24 hours. The six highest daily increases in Florida have come in the last week.
Duval County also saw a record daily increase with 80 news cases reported, bringing Jacksonville’s total to 2,112 confirmed cases. The previous daily high of new cases was 56.
Mayor Lenny Curry acknowledged the jump in cases Tuesday but pointed to other numbers -- including decreasing hospitalizations and COVID-19 related transports -- saying that increased totals were expected but that the good news is the health care system isn’t being overwhelmed locally.
“We have flattened the curve in Jacksonville, which was always the goal, and our hospitals are no longer, at this time, facing that kind of risk," Curry said. “While the data is improving, we cannot afford to be complacent. The virus is with us and we all play a part in protecting ourselves, our family and our neighbors."
Last Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health reported 67,371 Floridians and visitors to the state had been diagnosed with COVID-19. On Tuesday -- seven days later -- the Department of Health reported 80,109 total cases, an increase of 12,738 -- an 18.9% rise in the last week.
The state has now seen daily increases over 1,000 cases for the last two weeks, which the state says is due to testing being conducted combined with some spikes in some agriculture communities. The number of tests conducted daily peaked three weeks ago and the percentage. The positive tests reported Tuesday was 9.2%, more than double the rate from earlier this month.
The governor’s press office did not immediately return a call from the Associated Press seeking comment Tuesday on the increase and the health department has not responded to multiple phone and email requests for comment made since Monday.
As of Tuesday’s report from the health department, Florida had administered a total of 1.46 million tests for COVID-19, but 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 surge of cases so far this month 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. The total number of tests administered has gone up by 28.6% in that same two-week period, but that is the number of tests, not the number of people tested.
The DOH reported the total number of coronavirus related deaths is now at 2,993 with two additional deaths in Duval County: a 60-year-old man whose case was first counted May 24 and a 72-year-old man whose case was first counted May 25.
The state now reports a total of 12,206 patients have been hospitalized with coronavirus. The state does not release data specifically on how many patients are currently hospitalized with coronavirus.
Two weeks ago, there were 1,660 coronavirus cases in Duval County with a 3.3% positive test rate. On Tuesday’s report of 2,112 cases comes with a 5.6 positivity rate.
In Clay County two weeks ago, 387 coronavirus cases were reported with a 0% positivity rate. On Tuesday there were 443 total COVID-19 cases in Clay County with a 1.4% positivity rate.
Two weeks ago in St. Johns County there were 262 total cases were reported. There are 333 cases on Tuesday with a 6.3% positivity rate.
In Nassau County, 80 cases were reported on June 2 with a 3.5% positivity rate. On Tuesday, the state reports there are 94 cases in Nassau with a 0.9% positivity rate.
Florida began letting restaurants reopen last month and bars opened their doors last week after they were forced to close to stop the spread of the virus. Several bars and restaurants in Jacksonville Beach closed over the last several days because of reports of customers and employees testing positive for COVID-19.
Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened their doors this month, and Walt Disney World is set to reopen its theme parks next month.
The vast majority of people who test positive for the coronavirus recover and many never experience any symptoms. The disease is particularly dangerous for the elderly and people who have pre-existing health problems.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tap on the legend at bottom of the infogram below to see the growth of cases, deaths and they daily increases since the first cases of COVID-19 were found in Florida on March 1.