Florida expands vaccine program, daily reported cases continue below holiday peaks

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 6,640 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and reported an additional 140 resident deaths attributed to the virus.

Nine of the deaths in the latest report were in Duval County. There were five in Clay County, one in St. Johns, two in Flagler and two in Alachua.

That brings the state to 1,892,301 cases since the outbreak reached Florida last March and 31,018 deaths, according to FDOH data.

The number of cases and deaths in the state over the past two weeks are lower than they’ve been since before Thanksgiving, although higher than they were running in September and November. The pattern is similar in Jacksonville and neighboring counties.

Florida and Duval County coronavirus cases since June 1

There have been at least 78,744 resident hospitalizations attributed to the virus in the state. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports 3,962 people currently hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19.

The rate of positive tests from Tuesday was 5.23% -- down from 5.98% the day before. The positivity rate in Jacksonville, Clay and St. Johns counties were all below 5%.

Florida last week reported its first confirmed case of the P.1 COVID-19 variant that was first detected in Brazil, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state has now verified 489 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant that emerged from the United Kingdom -- by far the highest number for any state in the country.

At least 2,838,326 people had been vaccinated in Florida as of Thursday morning, with 1,539,770 people in the state having received both shots.