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Nearly 20% of Jacksonville’s 500 COVID-19 deaths reported in last 2 weeks

Nearly 16,000 have died related to coronavirus across Florida since March

Samples are tested for respiratory viruses during a visit by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to the pathology labs at Leeds General Infirmary on March 12. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Samples are tested for respiratory viruses during a visit by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to the pathology labs at Leeds General Infirmary on March 12. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County added six more coronavirus-related deaths in Thursday’s report from the Florida Department of Health, bringing Jacksonville’s total to 500 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic hit the state in March.

Duval County has reported 93 deaths since Oct. 1 -- meaning more than 18% of Jacksonville’s COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last two weeks. To clarify, though, the state’s daily reports have consistently shown a lag in reporting of deaths statewide, so the 93 deaths did not all occur in the last two weeks.

Jacksonville’s first reported coronavirus death was on March 19.

The six deaths added Thursday were among 144 reported statewide, including two each in Clay and Columbia counties and one each in Baker, St. Johns and Union counties. Four of the Northeast Florida deaths reported Thursday were patients in their 50s.

Florida has now reported 15,932 deaths of residents and non-residents since the pandemic began.

The state also added 3,356 cases of COVID-19 in Thursday’s data, the highest one-day increase since Sept. 19 (not counting an issue over the weekend that led to two days' data being reported Sunday).

So far in October, the state is averaging 2,564 cases a day.

There were 178 additional cases in Duval County in the last 24 hours, with 57 more in Alachua, 48 in St. Johns and 40 in Clay. No other local county added more than 20 cases.

Florida and Duval County daily increases since June 1

Thursday’s data showed an additional 28,286 people tested, bringing the total number of tests performed in the state to 5.65 million.

State and local counties have seen their positivity rates tick upward over the 5% mark scientists say is the threshold for community spread. Florida’s rate was at 5.2%. The only Northeast Florida county under 5% was Alachua (4.11%).

Thursday’s report came a day after AARP released a national “dashboard” that shows the death rate of Florida nursing-home residents over a recent four-week period exceeded the national average.

The AARP online site, which looks at nursing-home data for four weeks ending Sept. 20, shows that 1.38 of every 200 nursing home residents in Florida died from COVID-19. Nationally, about one out of every 200 nursing home residents died from COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, 6,136 long-term care residents were positive for COVID-19, according to state data. That figure includes residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities.

More than 6,300 residents and staff members of long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. The overwhelming majority of those deaths involved residents, data show.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.