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Florida becomes 3rd state in US to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases

More than 1,300 people in Northeast Florida have died with the virus since the pandemic began

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health added 8,347 additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the state’s known total of cases since March 1 to 1,008,166.

Nine months to the day after the first coronavirus infections were diagnosed in Florida, the state becomes the third in the nation to surpass 1 million cases.

ONLINE: How coronavirus cases grew from a trickle to thousands every day | Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard

The state also confirmed 82 new deaths on Tuesday, bringing Florida’s total during the pandemic to 18,916. Of the additional deaths in the report, 22 were in Jacksonville, ranging in age from 39 to 94 years old. While most of those cases were identified in October and November, two were identified in August.

Florida and Duval County daily COVID-19 case increases since June 1

Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continued to rise, with 4,279 confirmed cases in hospitals on Tuesday afternoon. That number has steadily risen since October after plateauing at around 2,000 hospitalizations daily for weeks following the summer surge of the virus.

Duval County hospitals report 224 COVID-19 patients, 46 in Clay County and 22 in St. Johns County. Columbia County reports it has no available ICU beds while Clay County is down to 14% of available intensive care beds.

The percentage of people testing positive in the state on Monday rose to 8.69% and most area counties’ rates were even higher -- with Duval, Clay, Baker, Putnam and Union counties all in the double digits.

Unlike in the spring and summer, officials have not adopted additional restrictions in Florida to prevent the virus from spreading.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported on a model by Columbia University epidemiologist Jeffrey Shaman and his team estimated that 3.6 million people are infected and shedding enough virus to infect others -- that’s nearly 1% of the population of the United States and well higher than the official count of active cases.


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