Four of five First Coast counties record COVID-19 deaths Tuesday

JACKSONVILLE CORONAVIRUS (8)
Jacksonville has seen COVID-19 deaths surge about 20% in one week.

Four out of five counties on the First Coast reported an increase in the death toll from coronavirus in one day, according to Florida Department of Health data released Wednesday.

Duval County recorded three new deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday, totaling 108.  Jacksonville added 19 deaths in just the past week.

Jacksonville also added 435 cases for a total of 17,979. There were six new hospitalizations for a total of 529.

There is one bright spot in Jacksonville. The positivity rate for coronavirus tests dropped to its lowest percentage in July. Tuesday’s positive test rate was 6.4%, meaning 434 out of 6,388 administered tests were positive. It’s only the second day Jacksonville has had a positivity rate below 10% in July, the other was on July 11 when it was 9.5%.

Officials are watching the data closely as the Republican National Convention is barely one month away from being held in Jacksonville Aug. 24-27.

Republican Party officials have already said many of the convention events will be held at outside venues such as TIAA Bank Field and the adjacent amphitheater to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Crowds inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena will be limited.

Elsewhere on the First Coast, St. Johns County added one new death Tuesday for a total of 17. St. Johns added 58 new cases rising to a total of 2,670 and five new hospitalizations for a total of 138.

Clay County also added a new death, increasing to a total of 44. There were 52 new infections added in Clay Tuesday for a total of 2,249 and one new hospitalization for a total of 156.

Nassau County has more than doubled its coronavirus death count in the past week going from three to seven including two deaths counted Tuesday. The county now has a total of 838 cases, up 27 from Monday. There was one new hospitalization added Tuesday for a total of 46.

Baker County added five new cases Tuesday for a total of 250 with no new deaths or hospitalizations, holding steady at four and 24 respectively.

Across the First Coast there are now 23,986 total cases of coronavirus, up 577 from Monday.

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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.

We established our methodology 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 drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.



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