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Jacksonville coronavirus count jumps to 163 as an election worker was identified among those cases

A poll worker is believed to have contracted the virus during the presidential primary.

Duval County’s count of coronavirus infections jumped to 163 Monday evening as the city acknowledged an elections worker contracted the illness during the presidential primary election earlier this month.

Separately, another death was recorded from the affliction in Jacksonville increasing from three to four, the first change in the fatality count in Duval County in a week. Another 25 people have been hospitalized for the illness in Jacksonville. 

The Florida Department of Health “dashboard” website showed there were 163 confirmed cases of COVID-19  in Jacksonville as of Monday evening. That’s up from the 158 cases in Jacksonville reported shortly after 11 a.m. Monday. 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s spokeswoman Nikki Kimbleton confirmed in a news release Monday afternoon that an elections poll worker contracted COVID-19 on March 17. The poll worker tested positive for the virus Monday, but it’s believed it was contracted as the elections official was overseeing ballots being cast at the Freedom Christian Fellowship Church, 3423 Loretto Road on Jacksonville’s Southside in the San Jose neighborhood. 

“All staff as well as other poll workers who were at this location are being notified of the situation and are advised to take appropriate steps,” Kimbleton said in the news release.

“By way of this advisory, the 360 voters who went to this location on March 17th are notified that they should also take appropriate steps and seek the counsel of a medical advisor. These voters will also be contacted by mail or by phone in the coming days,” Kimbleton said.

The poll worker started to experience symptoms about six days after the election, Kimbleton said.

Florida was among several states that decided to go through with primary elections on March 17, despite increasing reports of positive COVID-19 cases. Ohio called off the casting of ballots that day fearing the illness could spread at polling places. 

Kimbleton said the city is withholding any information regarding the identity of the poll worker. 

Meanwhile, Jacksonville’s number of residents infected with the illness increased to 156 Monday while seven of those infected in Duval County are not from the city. All of those live in Florida, though. 

The age range of those infected in Jacksonville runs from 5 years old to 97. 

A total of 2,678 tests have been administered in Duval County. Out of those, 2,322 have come back negative. 

Across Florida, the number of total cases jumped to 5,704 Monday evening, up from 5,473 earlier in the day. The number of fatalities jumped to 71 with 715 people in the Sunshine State being hospitalized.

Nationally, 160,020 cases have been reported across the United States. Out of those 2,953 have ended in fatalities.

Globally, 777,286 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed with 37,140 people dying from the illness worldwide.

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