FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – It’s not just Duval County seeing a spike in coronavirus cases. Neighboring counties in Northeast Florida have been hit with surges, too.
Nassau County just hit 600 total cases and recorded its third death linked to the virus.
Including the 30 additional cases reported Wednesday, the county has seen a 229-percent increase in positive tests since the end of June when it had tallied a total of 182 cases.
A significant number of positive tests are connected to the 32034 area code, which represents Fernandina Beach, with 280 cases there. Of Nassau’s 600 total cases, Fernandina accounts for nearly half.
“We see the numbers are going up in Nassau County, the numbers are going up in Amelia Island, so that concerns us,” part-time resident Harold McNamara told News4Jax.
McNamara, who lives half the year in Fernandina Beach, said the numbers are staggering. He’s concerned about the months ahead, not just because of tourism but also people coming to town next month for the Republican National Convention.
“We are concerned about the convention in Jacksonville bringing an influx of people from all over the country,” McNamara said.
Hospitalizations remain low. Only 36 of the county’s 600 cases total have required trips to the hospital.
The downward trend in age the state of Florida is experiencing is also evident in Nassau County. Half of Wednesday’s 30 new cases were people age 40 or younger.
“Because they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s just old people, it won’t affect me, I can do whatever,’” Shania Boderick said.
Boderick, who lives in Yulee, said she wants young people her age to take the virus seriously.
“As time goes on you see it progress and how much worse it got,” Boderick said. “Obviously it’s like, okay, now I have to think — I have younger siblings, my brother has health problems, so I can’t afford to get it now not for myself but for the people around me.”
Nassau County is at a 10.4-percent positivity rate for new cases.
Three Nassau County residents have died from COVID-19. A 44-year-old Yulee man died over the weekend losing his battle with the virus.
Mask mandates introduced by the county and City of Fernandina Beach went into effect in early July.
Superintendent Kathy Burns said if the county still has its mandate in place when school resumes, the school district will follow the county and require students to wear masks inside classrooms.