Florida, Jacksonville fall just short of record highs for new COVID-19 cases

Statewide, 11,433 new cases were reported; Duval County reported 744 additional cases Friday

Healthcare professional Kenzie Anderson grabs a test tube for a sample at United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site Friday, June 26, 2020, in Houston. The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida fell just over two dozen cases short of another troubling single-day high in COVID-19 cases, according to data reported Friday by the state health department.

The state’s total of confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began is now 244,151 -- an increase of 11,433 cases since Thursday. That number was just 25 cases below the state’s single-day record of 11,458 cases reported on Saturday.

In Jacksonville, an additional 744 COVID-19 cases were reported Friday, just 23 cases behind Duval County’s single-day record of 767 cases, reported July 2. Duval County has now reported a total of 11,772 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.

The state also reported 92 additional deaths related to coronavirus on Friday with 17,602 patients hospitalized since the pandemic began. Florida is one of only a handful of states to not report current hospitalization numbers.

So far, 4,203 residents and visitors to Florida have died with the virus since the state began tracking data in March. Clay and St. Johns counties each reported an additional death on Friday.

The Clay patient was a 65-year-old man whose case was first counted July 4. He brought the county’s total to 35 deaths.

The St. Johns patient was an 88-year-old woman whose case was first counted July 6. She brought St. Johns County’s total to 10 deaths.

Florida has averaged more than 8,000 cases each day for a week.

The percent of tests that came back positive in Jacksonville on Thursday was 13.0%. Florida’s positive testing rate on Thursday was 12.75%.

It took Florida more than 3½ months to reach 100,000 cases of coronavirus in the state. It took only two weeks -- from June 22 to July 5 -- for that number to double.

The state reported 435 new Florida hospitalization admissions in 24 hours, making it the sixth day in July with more than 300 people with COVID-19 admitted to hospitals. In the previous four months the state has tracked the data, the highest daily number of hospital admissions was 265.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who announced Tuesday he was in self-quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure, said hospitalizations for coronavirus are going up in the city but those patients aren’t flooding the intensive care units at local hospitals. He said the ICU beds, which are closely monitored, are filling up, but not with COVID-19 patients.

Locally, only two hospitals share their numbers with News4Jax. On Friday, UF Health reported 88 COVID-19 patients, with 29 patients in the intensive care unit. Baptist Health reported 141 COVID-19 patients in its system, with 16 patients in the ICU. Baptist and Ascension St. Vincent’s have announced visitation changes at their hospitals because of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the community.

Last week, Curry issued a face mask mandate for Jacksonville, requiring people to wear masks indoors when they can’t socially distance.

Jacksonville added three new federal testing sites at locations across the city Wednesday. The sites were opened because Jacksonville has been designated a “surge site” by the federal government, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the new sites will help identify areas of concern.

In the graphic below, use the legend to turn off the sets of data you don’t want displayed to see only the metric you want to see.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.