Jacksonville increases COVID-19 cases seven-fold in one month

JACKSONVILLE CORONAVIRUS (9)
Jacksonville has now tallied more than 14K cases.

Jacksonville added 428 new cases of coronavirus, blowing by the 14,000 mark for total cases, according to Florida Department of Health data released Wednesday.

There are now 14,152 COVID-19 cases in Jacksonville as of the end of Wednesday morning. That’s seven times the number of total cases reported just one month ago.

On June 15, there were 2,112 cases of coronavirus in Jacksonville. The startling explosion of infections mounts as the Republican National Convention draws nearer to being held in Jacksonville Aug. 24-27.

The event marking the GOP’s formal nomination of President Donald Trump for another term is supposed to be held in the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena downtown and is expected to draw upwards of 40,000 party faithful from all over the country.

But Florida is now considered an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. Party officials are considering moving the convention events to 121 Financial Ballpark, a baseball stadium, or to TIAA Bank Field, a football stadium, in order to accommodate social distancing and stem the spread of the infection in Jacksonville.

Meanwhile, a group of business leaders and Jacksonville attorneys have filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to block the convention from being held in the city because it could turn into a virus super-spreader. In a CNN interview last week, the lead attorney, W.C. Gentry, said the decision to hold the convention in Jacksonville was “foolish.”

Meanwhile, Jacksonville added two more deaths attributed to COVID-19 Tuesday for a total of 89, while the number of people hospitalized in the city increased by 18 to a total of 442 since the pandemic began.

In other areas of Northeast Florida, St. Johns County added 60 new cases Tuesday for a total of 2,079 infections.  St. Johns also added another death for a total of 13.

Clay County saw 39 new infections for a total of 1,641. Clay was another First Coast county to increase its death tally, adding three new fatalities for a total of 42.

Nassau county added 30 new cases while Baker County saw seven additional cases Tuesday.

Across the five-county First Coast area, there are now 18,659 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 564 from Monday. A total of 151 people have died from  the infection in Northeast Florida while 442 have been hospitalized.

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Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up to date data as of about 9:30 a.m.

Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, considers a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.

This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include non-residents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data, therefore some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.

Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.

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]



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