JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to data released Thursday morning by the Florida Department of Health, both the state and Duval County saw the highest one-day increase in coronavirus cases, with 2,309 now reported in Jacksonville since the pandemic began.
Of those, 277 -- or 11.9% -- were reported in the last three days. Duval County saw its biggest single-day increase yet with 115 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. That follows a jump of 80 cases on Tuesday and 82 cases on Wednesday.
Jacksonville has now reported 60 COVID-19 related deaths with one additional death reported Thursday. The latest death was a 76-year-old man whose case was first counted by the state May 23.
Statewide, confirmed cases are now at a total of 85,926, an increase of 3,061 since Wednesday -- a new single-day record. The previous one-day high was 2,783 cases reported Tuesday.
The eight highest daily increases in Florida have come in the last eight days.
In the 11 Northeast Florida counties News4Jax has been tracking through the pandemic, 4,586 coronavirus cases have been confirmed and 132 patients have died. Additional deaths were reported Thursday in Alachua (71-year-old woman) and St. Johns (64-year-old man).
The DOH reported the total number of coronavirus related deaths is now at 3,061.
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.
As of Thursday’s report from the health department, Florida had administered a total of 1.51 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 state now reports a total of 12,577 patients have been hospitalized with coronavirus. The state does not release data specifically on how many patients are currently hospitalized with coronavirus.
But data from the state also show that hospital ICU beds are more than 75% full statewide.
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, that was 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 eight days 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%
- June 17: 5.7%
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.
There were long lines again Thursday at the Lot J testing site by TIAA Bank Field, with cars at midday backing up on Bay Street almost to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
On Wednesday, the site administered 764 COVID-19 tests -- a new record -- plus an additional 230 antibody tests.
On Thursday, the city announced at 4:40 p.m. that anyone not already in line would be told to return Friday as there were enough already in the queue to fill capacity for the day.
Nikki Kimbleton, spokeswoman for Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, released this statement on Thursday morning:
While 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.
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.
Looking at the areas around Duval County with recent spikes in reported coronavirus cases, Jacksonville Beach leads the way with a 68% increase in cases over the last eight days -- from 50 cases on June 10 to 84 cases on June 18.
ZIP code 32246 went from 92 cases on June 10 to 127 on June 18 (38% increase) and ZIP code 32256 -- both on the Southside -- went from 92 cases June 10 to 125 cases June 18 (35% increase).
On Jacksonville’s Northside, the 32208 ZIP code near Brentwood reported 84 total cases on June 10, which jumped to 117 total cases on June 18 -- a 39% increase.
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.