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Florida averages 2,600 new COVID-19 cases daily over last 2 weeks

Numbers continue to level out from summer peaks

Shayna Weiss directs drivers at a kosher food drive-thru distribution site last week at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation building in Miami.
Shayna Weiss directs drivers at a kosher food drive-thru distribution site last week at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation building in Miami. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida reported 3,573 more cases of the novel coronavirus in data released Saturday by the state health department. That brought the state’s total to 681,233 cases since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the state in March.

Looking over the last two weeks, the state has averaged 2,669 cases daily -- far below peaks seen over the summer after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Officials are keeping a close eye on the data with most school districts now having been open for several weeks.

Alachua County continues to see a surge in cases among young people. The county reported another 183 cases on Saturday -- its ninth straight day with more than 100 cases. A chart on the state’s database showed 73% of the new cases reported Saturday among Florida residents were among those 25 years old and younger.

The county has had more than 1,100 new cases in the last seven days, following a national trend of spikes in coronavirus infections in college towns.

Duval County reported 185 new cases of coronavirus in Saturday’s report, with three more deaths. Jacksonville has now recorded 29,241 cases and 353 deaths since the pandemic began. St. Johns County also reported an additional death Saturday to reach 66 total.

Statewide, Florida reported another 63 COVID-19 related deaths in Saturday’s report, bringing the state to 13,450 total deaths.

In the 11 Northeast Florida counties News4Jax has tracked through the pandemic, 734 total deaths have been reported since COVID-19 hit the state at the beginning of March.

Coronavirus deaths typically occur weeks or more after the disease is contracted and diagnosed. And the deaths reported in each day’s state data did not necessarily occur in the last 24 hours as the deaths often take many days to be reported to the state.

Duval County’s positivity rate Friday was 5.02%, the first time in over a week that it rose above 5%.

County-by-county breakdown for Northeast Florida

The state’s largest teachers union called on Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state leaders Friday to extend financial stability to school districts through the academic year, despite many districts experiencing lower-than-expected enrollment.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order on July 6 which, among other requirements, allowed districts to receive state FTE funding based on the forecast enrollment rather than the enrollment gathered in an annual October survey.

During a virtual press conference Friday, the FEA called on the state to extend that financial continuity so that any enrollment shortfall that still exists during the annual February survey would not impact the respective district’s FTE-based funding.

Daily cases reported in Florida and Duval County since March

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain, and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.