68ºF

Florida reports highest daily COVID-19 case increase since August

State has now reported over 752,000 cases of coronavirus since March

A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11 in Lake Success, New York. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)
A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs on March 11 in Lake Success, New York. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida continued its steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases reported daily with 4,004 COVID-19 cases added in Saturday’s report from the state health department.

Not counting an issue last weekend that led to two days' data being reported Sunday, that marks the first time since Aug. 22 that Florida reported more than 4,000 cases in a single day.

With 23,560 cases reported in the last eight days, Florida’s daily average of new coronavirus cases in October is slowly increasing. A week ago, the state was averaging about 2,500 cases a day. Now, that average is 2,703 cases a day for the first 17 days of October.

Florida has now reported a total of 752,481 cases since the pandemic began.

There were 147 additional cases in Duval County in the last 24 hours, with 105 more in Alachua, 57 in Clay and 44 in St. Johns. No other local county added more than 20 cases.

Florida added 88 more coronavirus deaths in Saturday’s report, bringing the total to 16,118 COVID-19 deaths of residents and non-residents since the pandemic began.

Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Columbia and Putnam counties added one new death each. There were no new deaths reported in Jacksonville, which has seen 505 coronavirus deaths since March.

Florida and Duval County daily increases since June 1

Saturday’s data showed an additional 30,422 people tested, bringing the total number of tests performed in the state to 5.71 million.

RELATED: Regency testing site adjusts to handle surge in people wanting COVID rapid test

The state’s positivity rate for new cases in Florida residents has been fluctuating this week, always hovering near the 5% mark scientists say is the threshold for community spread. Florida’s rate was at 5.21% on Friday, according to Saturday’s report. Duval (4.49%), Alachua (4.72%) and Flagler (4.25%) counties were the only local counties below 5% on Friday.

Saturday’s data comes as early in-person voting is set to begin Monday in 52 counties across the state, including most Northeast Florida counties.

For information on where and when you can vote early in Florida, click here.

There has also been chatter from Gov. Ron DeSantis' office that the state might consider not continuing with the daily coronavirus reports and instead going to a modified schedule, similar to how the state reports other infectious diseases.

But that received pushback from some Democratic state lawmakers, who pointed out the numbers are creeping up again and said now is not the time to abandon daily reports.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.