COVID-19 positivity rate in Duval County at highest it’s been during pandemic

Duval County’s test positivity rate has been 34% or higher the last two weeks

With the current spread of COVID-19, if you haven’t had the virus, you likely know someone who has it now or has in the past.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the current spread of COVID-19, if you haven’t had the virus, you likely know someone who has it now or has in the past.

According to the Florida Department of Health, Duval County’s test positivity rate has been 34% or higher the last two weeks — the highest it’s been during the pandemic.

Some medical experts, like infectious disease specialist Dr. Mohammed Reza, believe that number doesn’t show the real picture of what’s happening. The reason: the number of people now using at-home test kits.

“This number is lower than the viral load or the virus is circulating in our communities because of the home rapid testing that’s not being reported,” Reza said.

Reza says even though the current variant, omicron, appears not as severe, more and more people are getting sick. Reza says that is reason for concern.

News4JAX asked Reza about the state guidance that says if you are not showing symptoms, you don’t need to get tested right away.

“No that’s silly because the cornerstone of fighting any kind of outbreak — whether it be due to a flu-born illness or other infections, especially respiratory — knowing is half the battle. If you know you are positive, you know you can be asymptomatic and have no symptoms but still be infecting other people. If you know you’re positive, then you can take the proper precautions,” Reza said.

That is why Jamie Graham was being tested Monday at the Emmett Reed Community Center — just to be safe. He says he is not surprised at the number of people now testing positive in Jacksonville.

“Because when you go around and around in public spaces, nobody is wearing masks. Like everybody’s walking around and it doesn’t matter, like, it doesn’t exist,” Graham said.

While many are hoping the spread of the omicron variant is slowing down, Reza says predictions by Mayo Clinic show it could increase substantially in the next two weeks. He hopes it will then begin a decline, which is what is happening in Great Britain and other parts of the world.


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Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.