Florida passes 800,000 COVID-19 cases as daily average continues to rise

State has averaged more than 4,000 cases a day over the last week

FILE - In this Oct. 23, 2020, file photo, University of Washington research coordinator Rhoshni Prabhu holds up a swab after testing a passenger at a free COVID testing site in Seattle. Deaths per day from the coronavirus in the U.S. are on the rise again, just as health experts had feared, and cases are climbing in nearly every single state. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (Elaine Thompson, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of reported deaths related to COVID-19 has remained under 100 a day in Florida recently, but the number of confirmed cases has steadily risen.

Florida added another 5,592 cases of coronavirus in data reported Friday by the state health department. The state has now reported 800,216 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic hit Florida in March.

Not counting a data dump on Sept. 1 that spiked cases unexpectedly, Friday’s increase was the highest single-day increase since Aug. 15, when the state added 6,352 cases. It was also the sixth time in the last nine days that the state reported over 4,000 new cases.

Over the last week, Florida has averaged a daily increase of 4,062 cases. The highest seven-day average since mid-August.

Duval County added another 208 cases Friday for a total of 35,171 with 516 deaths and 1,255 hospitalizations.

Florida vs. Duval County daily cases diagnosed since June 1

Florida reported another 73 coronavirus-related deaths Friday, bringing the state’s total to 16,927 since the pandemic began.

Seven of the additional deaths reported Friday were in Northeast Florida counties: two each in St. Johns (82 total) and Columbia (80 total), and one each in Duval (516), Nassau (52) and Union (45).

Across Florida, the numbers of those testing positive -- while still way down from the state’s summertime peak -- have begun inching up over the past week.

In Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry on Tuesday extended a mask mandate for another 30 days. While the proclamation carries no fines or penalties, businesses can cite the government requirement when requiring masks inside their establishments.

There were 2,349 people being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals Friday afternoon, according to a state online census of hospital beds. That figure reached nearly 10,000 in late July, then declined steadily until late September when it began hovering between 2,000 and 2,200 for several weeks.

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.

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