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Back-to-back records: Florida reports nearly 20K more COVID-19 cases

State posts over 10K new cases for 10 straight days

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2021, file photo, a worker gives instructions to motorists at a COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nations capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2021, file photo, a worker gives instructions to motorists at a COVID-19 testing site in Los Angeles. The U.S. registered its highest deaths yet from the coronavirus on the same day as a mob attack on the nations capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida set its second record in a row Thursday when data from the state health department showed an increase of 19,816 new cases of COVID-19.

Florida has reported more than 10,000 cases each of the last 10 days, averaging 15,201 a day over the last week -- the highest week of increases since the pandemic began. Thursday’s record increase beat the record the state set Wednesday by more than 2,000 cases.

It took Florida nine months to pass 1 million cases of coronavirus in the state. It’s taken just over 5 weeks to add another 421,556 cases to that total. The state has now reported 1,429,722 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There were an additional 1,291 cases in Duval County on Thursday, the second-highest single-day increase Jacksonville has reported. The highest was 1,331 on Tuesday.

RELATED: Jacksonville converting 2 senior centers from COVID-19 testing to vaccine clinics

Clay County set its third record in a row with 227 more cases reported Thursday. Putnam County set a record with 93 more cases Thursday, and St. Johns (290) and Nassau (121) reported their second-highest increases to date in Thursday’s data.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state has reported 22,817 deaths related to the virus. Duval County added seven deaths Thursday and is now at 767. Putnam added three more deaths to reach 83, and Baker added one to reach 38.

The statewide positivity rate based on Wednesday’s testing was 11.60%, the health department said Thursday.

As of 3:18 p.m. Wednesday, 7,331 people were hospitalized in Florida with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

According to the latest vaccination data from the state, 32,285 first doses were administered Wednesday, bringing the total in the state to 384,223. Most of the Floridians who have been vaccinated are health care workers and first responders, although an increasing number are seniors 65 years or older, who the governor has made a key demographic for vaccinations.

More than 82% of those who have died from the disease in Florida have been older than 65.

Florida has one of the nation’s oldest populations with 4.4 million of the state’s 21 million population 65 years or older.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.