Over 6K new COVID-19 cases reported as Florida closes in on 1 million

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With an increase of more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases reported on Saturday, Florida is on track to surpass 1 million cases of the virus by early next week -- the third state in the nation to reach that dubious milestone.

The state health department reported 267 new cases in Duval County on Saturday, including five deaths.

The report released by the Florida Department of Health on Saturday follows a surge of new reported cases in Jacksonville during the week of Thanksgiving.

Duval County’s 1,037 increase in cases over Thursday and Friday marked a two-day average of 518.5. The last time Jacksonville’s had that many cases in two days was July 19-20.

Florida and Duval County daily case increase since June 1

A week of travel and gatherings hasn’t ended yet, and the COVID-19 case numbers are rising.

A two-day total of 17,344 cases on Friday also accounts for Thanksgiving, but we won’t know the impact of the holiday cases for another few weeks.

Another report like Friday and Florida will be over 1 million cases, and it’s expected to happen next week.

The report released Saturday increased the number of cases in Florida since March 1 to 985,297. Since the state has averaged around 8,000 daily cases, the state will likely pass the million mark by Monday.

Testing sites reopened after the holiday. There weren’t many people in line Saturday, and infectious disease experts said if those who traveled or were a part of gatherings for the holidays want to get tested, they should wait a few days in quarantine for a higher positivity rate.

Those experts also say at the rate of people who traveled and got together in coming weeks we will see more people getting sick and dying.

There were 81 additional COVID-19 related deaths in Florida in Saturday’s report, including one additional death each in St. Johns County.

Something else experts said to be on the lookout for is Sunday, which is expected to be another busy day of travel with people returning home for the holiday. Doctors want to remind you to socially distance yourself from others and wear your mask.

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