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Duval County shows spike in coronavirus cases

Duval County now has 74 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Jacksonville, as with the rest of Florida, showed a substantial spike in confirmed cases of the coronavirus Thursday.

Duval County now has 74 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a jump by 14 people compared to the 60 posted Wednesday evening, according to data from the Florida Department of Health. While the number of confirmed positive tests jumped, Jacksonville’s death toll from the virus held steady at three.

The DOH coronavirus “dashboard” on the agency’s website showed there were 70 Jacksonville residents who tested positive for the coronavirus while four are nonresidents but still live in Florida.

It’s not overly surprising the numbers are increasing as Jacksonville has expanded and aggressively increased testing of the public this week on the east end of downtown. On Monday, the city opened testing in a parking lot outside of TIAA Bank Field to all ages for free. That’s the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Paid testing continues at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on the west side of downtown. That’s also the site where a federal field hospital is being erected to handle any overflow patients that might come from Jacksonville hospitals.

While the field hospital is designed to handle 250 intensive care unit patients who might be infected with COVID-19, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said Wednesday that Duval County hospitals are nowhere near capacity.

Curry also called on employers to honor the executive order he signed Monday night calling for managers and business owners to allow their employees to work from their homes in hopes of stemming the spread of the virus. He acknowledged the order is difficult to enforce and some in the workforce had complained their places of work were not allowing them to work at home.

The Duval County COVID-19 case figures show 32 of those infected are men while 38 women have contracted the affliction. The average age of the infected in Jacksonville is 55 years old with the youngest being 13 and the oldest 91.

The DOH said they do not know how 47 of the Duval County cases were contracted. Eight were travel-related and 19 were non-travel related, the agency said.

A total of 1,309 tests have been administered in Duval County with 973 of those turning out negative. Another 262 are pending.

The number of positive coronavirus positive cases in Florida jumped sharply when Thursday morning’s latest update was released by the DOH. There are now 2,355 cases in the Sunshine State, up from the 1,977 cases reported Wednesday night.

There have been 28 deaths in Florida attributed to COVID-19. Some 27,539 tests have been administered across the state, the DOH said, and 23,741 have turned out to be negative. Another 1,442 test results are pending.

Across the United States, 69,684 people have tested positive for the virus with 1,046 ending in fatalities.

Globally, there were 495,086 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 22,184 deaths attributed to the infection.

Written By

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at dixonator2@hotmail.com.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ray Blacklidge

    March 26, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Before we hit the panic button that Florida’s cases are spiking – it’s important to note that the number of tests also dramatically spiked yesterday. So the BIG takeaway, the one nobody’s talking about, is that the transmission of the virus hasn’t suddenly accelerated.

    Normally, we see around 2,000 tests results per day. Yesterday Florida’s Department of Health posted over 7,300 tests. Of those, 93 percent were negative.

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