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2 Northeast Florida coronavirus-related deaths among 38 more statewide

Florida death toll from COVID-19 passes 12K milestone

FILE - Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are counted before they are prepared for RNA testing at the molecular pathology lab at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
FILE - Vials with samples taken for the new coronavirus are counted before they are prepared for RNA testing at the molecular pathology lab at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida has now surpassed 12,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus, according to data released Sunday by state health officials.

The grim milestone was reached after the Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 38 additional coronavirus-related deaths.

Among those deaths were an 83-year-old woman in Duval County, which has reported a total of 271 deaths, and a 40-year-old man in Columbia County, where a total of 39 deaths have been recorded.

The total number of deaths statewide since the start of the coronavirus pandemic six months ago is now at 12,001, with the average number of deaths over the past week at about 105 per day.

On Sunday, Florida added 2,564 additional COVID-19 cases for a total of 646,431 confirmed cases.

As of Sunday, nearly 3,200 infected people were being treated in hospitals for the virus.

The state Department of Health said Sunday that it had received more than 56,000 test results on Saturday, with about 5% of those results positive for the virus. It was the 25th consecutive day that the positivity rate fell below 10%, health officials said.

County-by-county breakdown for Northeast Florida

The downward trajectory in deaths and new cases in recent weeks helped reassure confidence that the pandemic was waning in Florida.

Most beaches were expected to remain open over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Officials have been urging Floridians to wear face masks and observe social distancing throughout the three-day holiday weekend, particularly at beaches and other public places.

Florida and Duval County’s daily COVID-19 case increases

Florida health officials announced Tuesday before releasing the daily update that the state had severed ties with Quest Diagnostics, one of the country’s largest health testing providers, after the company failed to submit timely results of 75,000 COVID-19 test results, some dating as far back as April.

Gov. Ron DeSantis called the company’s failure “egregious.”

The company blamed the delay on “technical issues,” saying in a statement that “the issue has since been resolved.”

The company said there were no unusual delays in notifying people of their test results.