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Florida passes 7,000 deaths from coronavirus

Streak of single-day records for COVID-19 deaths ends

A healthcare worker prepares to collect a sample to test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing site Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Doris Ison Health Center in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A healthcare worker prepares to collect a sample to test for COVID-19 at a drive-through testing site Friday, March 20, 2020, at the Doris Ison Health Center in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported a total of 178 additional deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 7,144 since the pandemic began.

Prior to Saturday, the state Department of Health reported a single-day record number of COVID-19-related deaths in Florida for four straight days.

Eight of the additional deaths reported in Saturday’s update were in Northeast Florida: four in Duval County, two in St. Johns County, one in Putnam County and one in Bradford County.

The deaths in Duval County were a 93-year-old woman, a 94-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 96-year-old woman. The deaths in St. Johns County were an 85-year-old woman and a 91-year-old man. The death in Putnam County was a 41-year-old man. And the death in Bradford County was a 55-year-old man.

Most of the deaths included in each day’s FDOH report have not actually died in the past 24 hours.

Duval County has now reported 157 deaths, St. Johns County has reported 28, Putnam County has recorded 16 and Bradford County has recorded four.

On Saturday, the health department also confirmed 9,642 new cases of coronavirus in Florida. Duval County added 284 cases in Saturday’s report, and the rate of positive tests that came back Friday was 7.2% in the county while the state’s positivity rate ticked up to 11.08%.

Daily COVID-19 cases reported in Florida, Jacksonville

Florida has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot in recent weeks, with 480,028 positive cases reported this year. The disease prompted President Donald Trump to call off a full-fledged Republican National Convention in Jacksonville and has led to local mask-wearing orders in many cities.

The latest numbers came Saturday as Hurricane Isaias threatened Florida’s eastern coast, but no evacuations were immediately announced. The National Hurricane Center’s latest prediction had the storm scraping past Florida but not making landfall.

“The most important thing we want people to do now is remain vigilant,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Saturday.

The governor on Friday declared a state of emergency for all counties on Florida’s Atlantic coast -- from the Keys to Nassau County.

Hospitalizations for the coronavirus have been declining for the past week and a half, with fewer than 8,000 being treated for the coronavirus on Saturday, down from highs of more than 9,500 in the middle of last week.

Florida’s seven-day average of daily reported deaths is now 178, second to Texas in the summer resurgence of the pandemic in the Sunbelt states. That compares with average daily reported deaths of more than 760 per day for New York in mid-April.