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Jacksonville to set limits on free coronavirus testing

The number of Duval County cases of COVID-19 increased from 115 to 128 overnight.

Jacksonville officials are putting a daily limit on the number of people who can get free testing for the coronavirus as the number of those infected continues to tick upward.

The number of Duval County cases of COVID-19 increased from 115 to 128 overnight, according to the Florida Department of Health.

But demands to get tested for the virus have also increased so much that Sunday the city placed a daily cap on the number of people who can get free tests at a TIAA Bank Field parking lot.

City officials acknowledge there have been “a very large turnout,” at the parking lot outside the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sunday morning, a notice was posted on the city’s website that daily limits are being instituted on those who get tested for the affliction.

The number of those seeking the coronavirus test in Jacksonville increased this week when the city opened it up to all ages and even included those with a fever on Thursday.

“The [Jacksonville} Department of Health and Human Services has limited tests at this site to 250 a day,” the city’s announcement said.

It also advised residents to come back Monday for testing if they didn’t make the cut on Sunday.

While Jacksonville’s number of coronavirus infections continues to increase, the recorded deaths from the infection have remained stable at three for most of the past week.

Still, there were 23 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Duval County. Out of the people that tested positive, 118 are residents of Jacksonville and another seven live outside of Duval County. All are residents of Florida.

The average age of the Jacksonville victims is 52 with the oldest 97 years old and the youngest 13, according to the DOH data. Men account for 52 of the cases and 63 women make up for the remaining cases. Out of all the tests administered so far, 1,839 of them in Duval County have come back negative.

There is another testing site in Jacksonville that requires a fee at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on the west end of downtown. That’s also where a temporary federal field hospital has been established that could hold 250 intensive care unit patients if Jacksonville hospitals reach maximum capacity. Mayor Lenny Curry and other city officials have said local hospitals are nowhere near capacity.

Statewide, there have been 4,246 cases reported as of noon, Sunday, according to the DOH coronavirus “dashboard.” The number of deaths held steady from Saturday at 56. There have been 594 people hospitalized with a total of 45,045 tests administered and 39,070 of those turning out negative.

Around the United States, 125,313 people have tested positive for coronavirus and 2,197 of those ending in fatalities.

Globally,685,623 cases have been reported. Out of those, 32,137 people have died from 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 drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.

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