Jacksonville breaks daily coronavirus record as First Coast exceeds 5K cases

With the RNC coming, coronavirus in Jax shows no signs of slowing.

Jacksonville set a new record Wednesday for the daily increase of coronavirus cases, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health Thursday.

Duval County saw a jump of 305 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, rising from 3,419 cases Tuesday to 3,724. It’s the first time Jacksonville exceeded 300 new cases in one day and the spike pushed the First Coast region past 5,000 total cases.

The percentage of positive test results continues to be running notably high. While Wednesday’s positive test rate dropped to 8.2%, Jacksonville has averaged a positive rate of 9.6% over the past week.

Jacksonville also saw an increase in deaths Wednesday, with 64 people now passed.

The increasing figures come as anxieties rise about Jacksonville hosting the Republican National Convention in late August. Two  public opinion polls released in the past week show Jacksonville residents are concerned the GOP event running from Aug. 24-27 will increase the spread of coronavirus.

A University of North Florida poll found 71% of residents fear the RNC will spread the illness in the city. A RABA poll found 57% of Jacksonville residents thought the convention would lead to a new COVID-19 outbreak.

Jacksonville could see a lull and then subsequent spike in the coming days as the city opened its busiest public testing site again at Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field. Vehicles stretched in lines for several blocks on Bay Street with people waiting sometimes for hours to get the exams until a storm damaged the site Tuesday afternoon.

The damage knocked the site out of commission from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday. But it was opened again Thursday morning.

In other First Coast areas,  St. Johns County saw a notable spike Wednesday with 41 new cases, bringing its total to 599. St. Johns had been hovering around 30 new cases per day in the past week.

St. Johns County has also had a high positive rate for COVID-19 tests, averaging 8.5% daily for the past week.

Clay County had an increase of nine cases, Nassau County had eight new cases and Baker County had two new COVID-9 infections Wednesday.

Across the Northeast Florida five-county region, there are now 5,045 cases of coronavirus, 109 deaths and 517 hospitalizations.

Throughout Florida, there are now 114,018 total cases, 3,327 deaths and 13,775 hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19.

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 [email protected]

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    June 25, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    We are doomed! Looting lenny is so buzzy get the rnc ready for the goptrump cult sociopath racist sexist liar leader trump He does not give a rats ass

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