JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida reported 107 new coronavirus-related deaths Saturday, among them a 12-year-old Duval County girl. Florida has now reported a total of 14,190 deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic hit the state in March.
Data from the Florida Department of Health do not include identification of coronavirus victims, but the girl added in Saturday’s state data is most likely a student who attended Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School.
She is the first reported pediatric death in Duval County and the second in Northeast Florida. A 9-year-old Putnam County girl died of COVID-19 complications in July.
In addition to the 12-year-old girl, Duval County reported another six deaths in Saturday’s data. Clay and Alachua counties reported two more deaths each, and Baker, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns and Union counties each reported one additional death.
Those 16 Northeast Florida deaths bring the total for the 11 counties News4Jax tracks to 796 deaths since the pandemic began.
Duval County added 149 cases of coronavirus Saturday, bringing the county’s total to 30,114 cases and 378 deaths. Clay County added 35 cases Saturday and has now reported 5,001 cases since the pandemic began -- with 100 deaths.
More than 40% of the deaths added Saturday occurred more than 30 days ago.
There were 2,109 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday morning, or 26 fewer than the day before.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an order allowing restaurants across the state to immediately reopen at full capacity. The order prevents cities and counties from ordering them to close or operate at less than half-capacity, unless they can justify a closure for economic or health reasons.
DeSantis also banned local fines against people who refuse to wear masks.
DeSantis has questioned the efficacy of closures, arguing that states that had more aggressively shut down, including California, have fared no better.
“The state of Florida is probably the most open big state in the country,” he boasted Friday.
California has had more than 800,000 coronavirus cases and more than 15,000 deaths associated with the outbreak. While California has suffered slightly more infections and deaths, its population is nearly twice that of Florida.
Earlier this week, the country surpassed 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, as the outbreak intensified in the U.S. heartland.
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.