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Lag in Florida data apparent as reported coronavirus-related deaths rise again

State reports 203 additional deaths, including 20 in Northeast Florida counties

FILE - A worker prepares a collection tube during COVID-19 tests.
FILE - A worker prepares a collection tube during COVID-19 tests. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported 203 additional deaths connected to COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 13,782 since March.

It was the first time more than 200 coronavirus-related deaths were reported by the state since Sept. 10.

The data released Wednesday by the state Department of Health appears to again show a lag in the reporting of COVID-19-related deaths. Based on a chart in Wednesday’s daily report, at least 90 of the deaths occurred more than 30 days ago and have just been identified. That also seemed to be the case with many of the local deaths.

Of the additional deaths reported Wednesday, 20 were in Northeast Florida: eight in Duval County, one in St. Johns County, four in Clay County, one in Nassau County, one in Alachua County, one in Bradford County and four in Columbia County.

Nine of the newly reported deaths in Northeast Florida were first identified as COVID-19 patients by the state in July.

Those patients in Northeast Florida whose deaths were reported Wednesday were between the ages of 30 and 93.

On Wednesday, Florida added 2,590 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of statewide infections to 690,499 since the pandemic began.

Duval County added 137 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday for an overall total of 29,717.

The positivity rate from coronavirus testing for Florida and Duval County continues to hover around 5% — the level that health officials believe shows limited community spread. The state Department of Health said Wednesday that Florida’s positivity rate Tuesday was 5.30%, while Duval County’s was 4.66%.

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.