Clay County patient dies of COVID-19

Duval has 13 cases; Alachua has 7 cases; Clay & St. Johns have reported 4 each

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A 70-year-old man in Clay County has died from the COVID-19 virus, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health in Clay County.

The patient at Ascension St. Vincent’s was one of four in Clay County who tested positive for coronavirus, according to numbers from the state health department.

The hospital, which is in Middleburg, released the following statement:

DeSantis said the man who died was in his 70s, and the Florida Department of Health in Clay County reported Clay County’s four patients are a 66-year-old woman, a 57-year-old man, a 55-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man, all of whom came into contact with known cases of the virus. According to Clay County, one of those patients has since died and the remaining three patients will remain isolated until cleared by the Florida Department of Health.

“It’s a lot of worry, a lot of concern for a lot of people, including myself. I’m in the senior category, so that puts me at a high risk,” said Clay County resident Pat Wright who was out shopping Tuesday while wearing a mask and gloves.

None of the Clay County cases have been determined to be travel-related. The Department of Health will contact anyone who may have had close contact with positive cases.

“The majority of our cases have not spread out into the community yet. We’re still planning and preparing, hoping that doesn’t happen,” said Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward. “Our county is sobbing for the family, for this gentleman that passed today, but I think it’s really what we’re trying to watch for to prevent future spread so it doesn’t impact any more citizens.”

Ward said they’ve dealt with a lot of disasters such as hurricanes, but the coronavirus is new and causing unprecedented strains on certain supplies like masks and gloves.

“We have a hurricane, it impacts Northeast Florida or perhaps the entire East Coast. You can get commodities or assistance from across the nation. But with this, everyone’s locked down,” Ward said.

It’s unclear whether the man who died had any underlying health conditions because of patient privacy laws. Emergency Management told News4Jax it’s still under investigation by health officials.

The number of coronavirus patients in Northeast Florida has risen to 30, including the region’s first death.

RELATED: Live in Clay County? What has changed in response to virus

On Wednesday evening, the Florida Department of Health updated its interactive database to show that public health officials are tracking 328 positive cases, including 299 Floridians and 29 non-residents.

Of the 2,800 tests administered so far through a combination of state-run and private laboratories, 1,332 have tested negative for COVID-19 while results for another 1,140 tests are still outstanding.

The total represents a 112-case increase over Tuesday when the agency reported 216 patients, but more cases were expected as the state expanded its testing capability.

Eight people have died statewide from the virus.

There are now 14 positive cases in Duval County, seven cases in Alachua County, four each in Clay and St. Johns counties and one in Nassau County. (A Charlton County resident diagnosed with the disease is being treated in Camden County just across the Florida-Georgia border.)

In Duval County, the cases are comprised of 12 men and two women, all of them ages 22 to 91. One case is travel-related, according to the health department, while four others are linked to contact with known patients. Six cases are among people with no travel history or contact with existing cases.

On Tuesday, a Jacksonville assisted-living facility reported that four of its residents have tested positive.

All seven of Alachua County’s cases — three men and four women, ages 21 to 69 — are believed to be related to their travel history.

In St. Johns County, the patients are two men and two women, ages 49 to 64, including a non-resident. Three of those cases are classified as travel-related and the fourth had contact with a known patient.

The lone patient in Nassau County is a travel-related case involving a man whose age was not listed.

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