71ºF

Florida passes 152,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases

Florida adds 5,000+ coronavirus cases for 7th day in a row

A healthcare worker holds a sample of a nasal swab after testing a passenger at a drive-thru new coronavirus testing site outside a supermarket in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, June 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A healthcare worker holds a sample of a nasal swab after testing a passenger at a drive-thru new coronavirus testing site outside a supermarket in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, June 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – According to data released Tuesday morning by the Florida Department of Health, the state has now reported 152,434 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

Florida’s string of record or near-record days of additional coronavirus cases was broken Monday. But with 6,093 additional cases reported Tuesday morning, the state has seen daily increases of over 5,000 cases for seven straight days.

Duval County’s numbers increased by 368 to 6,207 total confirmed cases since the pandemic began. Of those, 3,014 -- almost half -- have been reported in the last week.

St. Johns County had 53 new cases while Alachua added 38. Clay saw an increase of 31 and Putnam had 12 new cases. Scroll down for full county-by-county data.

There were 58 additional deaths statewide in Tuesday’s report. No deaths in Northeast Florida counties were added in the past 24 hours.

The state’s surge of new positive cases began in mid-June and continued rising to a peak of 9,585 on Saturday. Jacksonville peaked Sunday at 740. The total number of Duval County residents diagnosed with COVID-19 that has been slowly building since early March doubled since June 21 and has risen faster than the state average. Florida has doubled its total cases since June 13.

Testing numbers are way up, with long lines and wait times at Jacksonville’s largest drive-up and walk-up sites. The daily rate of positive tests in Duval County stayed below 5% throughout the month of May but has averaged 10% or above since mid-June and was 14.8% on Monday.

New hospitalizations and deaths are also ticking upward in Florida, although not as dramatically as the new cases.

On Monday, Mayor Lenny Curry announced a mandatory face mask mandate for Duval County, reversing course from previous statements that it wouldn’t be “prudent” to require people to wear face masks

State officials on Friday announced a ban on alcohol consumption at bars, and DeSantis explained Sunday there was “widespread noncompliance” in those businesses, saying they “tossed aside” safety guidelines. Several restaurants were shut down over the weekend in Broward County for not following rules restricting capacity and mandating the use of masks.

“It has invariably been because they packed so many people in and created a type of environment that we are trying to avoid,” DeSantis said over the weekend. “Caution was thrown to the wind and so we are where we are.”

DeSantis said that between late May and early June, racial justice protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis diverted attention from the pandemic and people began to feel more comfortable going out.

“I do think you saw some of the vigilance wear down a little bit,” DeSantis said.

Jacksonville was the first community in Florida to reopen its beaches (April 17) and restaurants and non-essential businesses outside of South Florida were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity when the state entered Phase 2 on May 15. Bars and nightclubs were allowed to open with restrictions on June 5.

Beaches in Miami-Dade County, the hardest-hit, only reopened on June 10.

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona, another state that is also seeing a surge in cases. Pence was to appear at events in Lake Wales and in Sarasota County. He is still set to meet with Gov. DeSantis.

DeSantis said he worried that younger people who live with older relatives may infect those in groups who can get more severely ill with COVID-19. Numbers are showing that since the spike in cases began to show.

“For these younger groups they need to be thinking about who they are coming into contact with, who may be in the more vulnerable groups,‘' DeSantis said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.