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Jacksonville adds record 740 new cases of COVID-19

The First Coast roared past 7,000 total cases of coronavirus Saturday.

Jacksonville broke the daily increase in coronavirus cases for a fourth straight day as a mammoth 740 new cases were added in one day while the First Coast roared past 7,000 total cases for the region, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.

The number of new cases on Saturday added up to 5,588 total in Jacksonville, up from Friday’s figure of 4,848. There was a slight uptick in hospitalizations going form 350 Friday to 353 Saturday in Jacksonville and no new fatalities.

Jacksonville’s record-breaking numbers persist with another alarming statistic in the percentage of COVID-19 tests being administered coming back positive. Saturday’s positive test rate was 11.1% Saturday, slightly down from Friday’s rate of 13.8% and Thursday’s record high of 14.1%, racking up a 10.2% positive test result rate in the past week.

The alarming figures reflect the huge increases across the state but add grist for critics of Mayor Lenny Curry who managed to land the most significant portions of the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville. President Donald Trump will accept the party’s nomination for another term as president in Jacksonville between Aug. 24-27. Recent local public opinion polls show the majority of Jacksonville residents worry the GOP convention with thousands of party faithful will only spread the illness even more in Jacksonville.

In other areas of the Northeast Florida region, St. Johns County continued its recent run on notable increases of COVID-19 cases. St. Johns jumped from 756 cases Friday to 837 cases Saturday, an increase of 81 cases in that county which has a population of less than 500,000 people. No other data changed in St. Johns.

That county has also been recording increased positive test returns showing 9.2% of all tests given came back positive Saturday. St. Johns County now has a positive test rate of 8.6% for the past week.

Clay County increased by 43 cases Saturday, rising from 616 Friday to 659 but no changes in any other data.

The positive test rate was a new record for Clay County on Saturday, though. Clay recorded a 9.3% positive result for all tests administered in Saturday’s DOH report. Clay County’s rate of positive test results is 6.4% for the past week.

Nassau County had an increase of 11 cases of coronavirus Saturday while Baker County increased by four. There were not other changes in data in those counties.

Across the five-county First Coast, there are now 7,278 cases of COVID-19, up by 849 over Friday’s figure of 6,429. Some 110 people have died from the illness while 547 people have been hospitalized in Northeast Florida.

Statewide, 141,075 cases of coronavirus have been recorded, 3,419 people have died from the illness and 14,244 have been hospitalized.

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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