Florida surpasses 20,000 deaths since start of pandemic

72 deaths reported in Florida on Saturday; 20,049 since start of pandemic

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported another 72 COVID-19 related deaths, pushing the death toll past 20,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Of the deaths reported Saturday, there were five reported in Northeast Florida including two in Duval County and one each in St. Johns, Clay and Columbia counties.

Saturday’s report also marked the third day in a row with more than 10,500 reported cases statewide, numbers that haven’t been seen since the summer.

Florida and Duval County daily cases reported since June 1

As of around 4 p.m. Saturday, 4,509 people were hospitalized in Florida with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. That includes 239 patients in Duval County hospitals and 55 people in Clay County hospitals.

The statewide positivity rate based on Thursday’s testing was 7.91%, the health department said Saturday. The positivity rate, a key factor in determining the community spread of the virus, hasn’t dipped below 6.22% in 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.