County-by-county: Number of children in Northeast Florida testing positive for COVID-19

Largest percentage of children testing positive for coronavirus in Putnam County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Of the counties in Northeast Florida, Putnam County has the highest percentage of children under the age of 18 who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Florida Department of Health data.

As of Monday evening, according to the data, 19% of the 42 COVID-19 patients in Putnam County were younger than 18 years old. Statewide, only 1.7% of the 21,019 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday night were under age 18.

“It really has no discrimination,” Mary Garcia, public health officer for the state Department of Health in Putnam County, said of the coronavirus. “It’s hard when you see youth.”

Nearly half of the COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend in Putnam County were in children younger than 14 years old.

Since Friday, 15 coronavirus cases have been reported in Putnam County, seven of which were in children between the ages of 6 and 13. A 14-year-old boy in Putnam County who tested positive for COVID-19 was also reported earlier this month.

The health department said most of the cases in children were in East Palatka.

Garcia said they have not received any reports of the virus in Putnam County child care facilities.

"The children of these ages are individuals that have been at home,” Garcia said.

Putnam County COVID-19 cases in children

CountyAgeGenderTravel relatedContact with a confirmed caseJurisdictionDate case counted
Putnam14MaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 3
Putnam13FemaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 10
Putnam12MaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 11
Putnam10FemaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 12
Putnam6MaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 12
Putnam10FemaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 12
Putnam10FemaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 12
Putnam8FemaleNoYesFlorida residentApril 12

Not only was the percentage of children in Putnam County who have tested positive for COVID-19 higher than the state’s percentage, but it was also higher than the percentages in other Northeast Florida counties.

The Northeast Florida county with the second-highest percentage was Bradford County, where two children -- an 8-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl -- made up 6.7% of the county’s 30 COVID-19 patients.

A 1-year-old boy in Columbia County accounted for 3.7% of the county’s 27 COVID-19 patients.

In St. Johns County, six of 176 COVID-19 patients were under the age of 18 (3.4%): a 12-year-old boy, a 12-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl, a 17-year-old girl, a 9-year-old girl and a 2-year-old girl.

The one juvenile patient in Flagler County -- a 17-year-old girl -- made up 2.2% of the county’s 45 COVID-19 patients.

In Duval County, there were 14 COVID-19 cases in children under the age of 18 out of the 691 cases in the county (2%). The 14 who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus were a 13-year-old girl, a 5-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl, a 5-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy, an 8-year-old boy, a 4-year-old girl, a 2-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, a 13-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, 10-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy.

In Alachua County, there were 187 COVID-19 cases, but only one case was in a child (0.5%). The child in Alachua County who tested positive for COVID-19 was a 2-year-old girl.

As of Monday night, no cases had been reported in children younger than 18 in Baker, Clay, Nassau and Union counties.

The health department reminds the public the virus spreads through contact, saying it’s not a bad idea for children to wear masks.

“There are a lot of individuals affected even though you might not be positive,” Garcia said.

That’s why her office is conducting surveillance investigations of the Putnam County cases. Over the weekend, Garcia said, they called more than 1,400 individuals to check on their status. She said Monday that the children who tested positive were self-isolated.

“They are doing everything that they can," Garcia said. “We are in contact with them, and this is not just the kids, (it’s) everybody.”

If you want to get tested in Putnam County, call your health care provider if you have one. Or you can call the Emergency Operations call center at 386-329-1904 for guidance.

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