Jacksonville records two new coronavirus deaths, total at 13

New case pace slowing on the First Coast.

Duval County posted two new coronavirus deaths Saturday, Florida Department of Health data shows.

Northeast Florida had seen a slow down in new COVID-19 cases over the past three days and Saturday continued that trend. But Jacksonville saw two new deaths added to a number that hadn’t changed since Thursday.

Duval County has now reported 13 coronavirus deaths, up from 11 as recently as the Saturday morning report from DOH, which updates figures twice a day.

The Duval County deaths range in age from a 74-year-old woman to a 91-year-old man. All other victims were in their 80s, DOH data shows.

Duval County’s total case count increased to 639 Saturday evening, up by four from the morning report and by 21 over Friday’s total.

The new numbers come as Jacksonville officials are advising residents that all testing will come to a halt Sunday in observance of Easter.

“Both COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Sunday (tomorrow) for the Easter holiday. These include Lot J at TIAA Bank Field and at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. Please share,” the Jacksonville website said.

The Lot J site is a parking lot outside the Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium. The site was active Saturday with continued lines of residents seeking tests.

So many residents have flocked to the site that the city was forced to limit it to 250 tests per day. On several occasions, the site shut down in early in the day after hitting the cap.

The paid site is at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, which is also the location of the federal field hospital that was established to handle up to 250 intensive care unit patients if local hospitals reach maximum occupancy.

Mayor Lenny Curry said Thursday that it’s not likely the field hospital will be needed as local hospitals are nowhere near capacity and some are already preparing to provide extended bed space if they hit their occupancy limit.

Other First Coast counties showed little movement in Saturday evening report.

Clay and St. Johns counties added three cases each. They now have 161 and 170 cases, respectively. No new cases were reported in Nassau or Baker.

Statewide, DOH reports 18,986 confirmed cases and 458 deaths.

Drew Dixon

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.

One comment

  • Connor Baird

    April 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Unbelievable that they won’t be testing tomorrow because of easter. Testing someone Sunday instead of waiting till Monday could save 5 people are more. These are the sacrifices everyone must make. Easter will come again next year with services and parties with your entire family.

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