JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With another 9,085 cases of COVID-19 reported Thursday by the Flordia Department of Health, the daily average for the week has risen above 7,200 -- a steady increase since the start of October when daily cases averaged about 2,250 but still lower than Florida’s peak in late July.
Duval County saw 440 additional cases in the last 24 hours and Clay County had 100 -- the most in one day since Sept. 12.
Since March 1, FDOH reports 914,333 people in Florida have tested positive for coronavirus.
Florida and Jacksonville daily COVID-19 cases since June 1
The state also reported another 81 deaths, bringing the number of residents or others who have died with coronavirus in the state since March to 18,030. One of those deaths was in Jacksonville, one each in St. Johns County and Columbia counties and four in Union County.
The seven-day average of reported deaths is about 62, up from 54 a week earlier. That compares to a peak of 185 in early August.
Hospitalizations have gone from between 2000 and 2,200 for most of October to more than 3,500 on Thursday, according to a state online census of hospitals.
The percent of positive coronavirus tests are also running well higher than it was a month ago when averages both statewide and in the Jacksonville metro area counties had dropped to near 5%. In the last week, the positivity rates were consistently higher and both the state and Duval County rate Wednesday was close to 8%.
On Wednesday, five Florida mayors said they were extremely concerned about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state and begged Gov. Ron DeSantis to change his approach to the virus in hopes of slowing the spread.
Despite a mid-autumn climb in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the governor has resisted a return to statewide restrictions in place earlier in the year.
“What Florida is doing right now isn’t working,’' said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber Wednesday during a sharply worded news conference on Zoom. “We’re failing pretty horribly ... Positive cases are rising steeply and it’s spreading everywhere. We don’t believe it’s going to change unless we do something different.”