Florida reports 2,541 new coronavirus cases, 179 more deaths

9 of the additional deaths recorded Thursday were in Northeast Florida

FILE - A health care worker administers a COVID-19 test at a site sponsored by Community Heath of South Florida in Homestead. (AP photo by Lynne Sladky)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 179 additional deaths connected to COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 13,961 since March.

Nine of the additional deaths reported Thursday were in Northeast Florida: five in Duval County, two in Alachua County, one in Clay County and one in Nassau County. Those who died were between the ages of 53 and 92.

One of the newly reported deaths in Northeast Florida was first identified as a COVID-19 patient by the state in June, while two others were first identified as COVID-19 patients by the state in July.

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On Thursday, Florida added 2,541 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of statewide infections to 693,040 since the pandemic began.

In Alachua County, 127 new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday, marking the first time since Sunday that the county added more than 100 cases in a single day and bringing the county’s total number of cases to 7,862.

On Thursday, Columbia County saw its largest single-day increase in cases since Aug. 15. The county added 43 new cases for an overall total of 3,733.

And Duval County added 128 new cases Thursday for a total of 29,845.

The positivity rate from coronavirus testing in both Florida and Duval County has dipped below 5% — the level that health officials believe shows limited community spread. The state Department of Health said Thursday that Florida’s positivity rate Wednesday was 4.45%, while Duval County’s was 4.05%.

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.