JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to data released Wednesday morning by the Florida Department of Health, Duval County saw its second record day in a row for newly reported COVID-19 cases.
Jacksonville now has 2,194 confirmed cases of coronavirus, an increase of 82 cases in the last 24 hours. That follows a jump of 80 cases on Tuesday for Duval County.
Statewide, confirmed cases are now at a total of 82,719, up by 2,610 since Tuesday. That’s the second-highest one-day increase, following Tuesday’s jump of 2,783 cases.
The seven highest daily increases in Florida have come in the last week.
The state has now seen daily increases over 1,000 cases for more than two weeks, which the state says is due to testing being conducted combined with some spikes in some agricultural communities. The number of tests conducted daily peaked three weeks ago and the percentage of positive tests reported Tuesday was 9.2%, more than double the rate from earlier this month.
As of Wednesday’s report from the health department, Florida had administered a total of 1.48 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 3,018 with one additional death in Columbia County reported in the last 24 hours.
The patient who died in Columbia County was a 30-year-old woman who did not have known contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Her case was first counted by the state on May 17.
The state now reports a total of 12,389 patients have been hospitalized with coronavirus. The state does not release data specifically on how many patients are currently hospitalized with coronavirus.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the recent spikes in cases were to be expected as testing has increased.
Curry cited a figure of 2.8% for positive cases in Duval County on Tuesday. On Wednesday, according to the state dashboard, it’s up slightly to 2.9%.
But that’s looking at ALL of the positive cases, out of ALL of the tests done in Duval County since the start of the pandemic -- it’s not the current rate of people testing positive.
The daily positive rates for Duval County for the last week show a less consistent story:
- June 10: 4.3%
- June 11: 2.6%
- June 12: 3.4%
- June 13: 2.3%
- June 14: 3.6%
- June 15: 5.6%
- June 16: 6.6%
According to the state data, the daily percentage counts include the number of people for whom the department received laboratory results by day. The percent comes from the number of people who test positive for the first time divided by all the people tested that day, excluding people who had previously tested positive.
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.