Florida’s COVID-19 cases remain above 9,000 for 2nd day; 80 deaths reported Friday

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s Department of Health reported 9,085 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday -- the second straight day the state added over 9,000 cases bringing the average for the week to 7,552.

Duval County reported 253 more cases Friday, Clay County added 97 and St. Johns’ total increase by 95.

Florida and Jacksonville COVID-19 daily cases since June 1

Florida also reported 80 additional deaths in Friday’s coronavirus report, although those victims died days if not weeks earlier, bringing the state’s total to 18,110. Three of those deaths were in Putnam County and one was in Alachua County.

Nationwide, the death toll has reached about 253,000, by far the highest in the world. Total confirmed infections have eclipsed more than 11.7 million, after the biggest one-day gain on record Thursday — almost 188,000.

There 3,439 people hospitalized in Florida on Friday with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 -- 58 more than the day before. The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 in the United States hit another all-time high at more than 80,000.

Florida’s rate of positive tests on Thursday was 7.64% -- almost the same as the day before. Duval County’s positivity rate of 6.14% is slightly better. The highest rate in Northeast Florida on Thursday was Clay County’s 11.86% while the lowest was 2.64% in Alachua County.

With health experts deeply afraid Thanksgiving travel and holiday gatherings next week will fuel the spread of the virus, many states and cities are imposing near-lockdowns or other restrictions. Florida has not added any restrictions statewide.

Amid the bleak new statistics, Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, setting in motion a process that could make the first, limited shots available as early as next month, with health care workers and other high-risk groups likely to get priority.

But it could take months before the vaccine becomes widely available. Pfizer has said the vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing the disease.

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