JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Minutes after the Florida Department of Health reported there were three additional deaths and 53 new COVID-19 cases in Jacksonville in the last 24 hours, Mayor Lenny Curry reminded people that due to the long turnaround on testing, the caseload increase is from people tested five to seven days ago.
Curry said Thursday it is not unexpected that we will see 50 or more cases added to Jacksonville’s totals each day for some time.
“We expect to continue to see spikes in the testing,” Curry said during a Thursday midday video conference. “This is going to be a tough 30 days for all of us in Jacksonville.”
Curry urged people to cooperate with current guidelines and his stay-at-home that goes into effect Friday morning.
Models used by health providers show Jacksonville could see a substantial rise in cases later this month and in May.
“No one has shared a model with me that keeps me up at night. I’m not afraid. And I don’t want people to be afraid,” Curry said. “The models simply say hospitals could be stressed, and there are different models. So it’s reasonable for hospital leadership and city leadership to act on the possibility. And that is why you’ve heard discussions about the field hospital. That is why our hospitals are prepared if they have to find additional bed space. If we do our part, and keep the social distancing, we will flatten the curve. That’ll happen. And as I said before, we may be having some of those impacts now.”
As of Thursday night, 36 people diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized at Jacksonville hospitals, according to Florida DOH data.
Curry addressed rumors that a cruise ship from South America that reportedly has 200 sick people aboard could come to JaxPort rather than Fort Lauderdale or other Florida East Coast ports. He said no one has contacted local port officials about that.