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Four of five First Coast counties drop COVID-19 positivity rates below 6%

Five Northeast Florida counties averaged a 5% positivity coronavirus test rate Friday.

Four out five First Coast counties have fallen below a 6% positivity rate among COVID-19 tests administered, according to Florida Department of Health data released Friday.

For the second day in a row, Jacksonville recorded a 5.7% positivity rate. In early July, Jacksonville had exceeded 20%.

Jacksonville has remained below a 10% positivity test rate since July 23. The seven-day average positivity rate is 6.5%.

There were 139 new cases reported for a total of 24,301 cases in Duval County.

The county reported two new deaths Friday, bringing the total to 214.

While Jacksonville carries the bulk of the cases in the region, the average daily positivity rate Friday for the five Northeast Florida counties was 5% combined. The region has now reported 33,940 cases and 332 deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have said areas are considered “hot spots” if their positivity rates exceed 5%.

Clay County fell below that “hot spot” threshold Friday, posting a 4.2% positivity rate. That’s the lowest positivity rate Clay has had in weeks.

Clay had 20 new cases of coronavirus for a total of 3,389 Friday and no new deaths, holding steady at 61.

Baker County, which saw its COVID-19 case count more than double in one week due to cases in a Florida Department of Corrections facility, recorded a 3% positivity rate Friday, falling from 3.3% the previous day.

In the throes of testing at the prison, Baker County saw the positivity rate skyrocket to as high as 41.8% Wednesday before coming back down to what is normal for that county on Thursday.

There were 17 new cases added to Baker County’s tally Friday for a total of 1,069. As recently as Aug. 5, that total case count was 429 in Baker. There were no new deaths in Baker Friday, remaining at four.

Nassau County recorded 17 new cases Friday for a total of 1,297 infections and a positivity rate of 5.5%, up slightly from Thursday’s 5.4%. Nassau showed no new deaths, remaining at 11.

St. Johns County was the only the First Coast county with a positivity rate higher than 6% Friday, but not by much. There were 67 new infections for a total of 3,884 and no new deaths, holding steady at 42. The positivity rate was 6.7%.

St. Johns has been flirting with 5% for several weeks, hitting the 5% mark on Aug. 7. St. Johns recorded a 4.8% positivity rate July 30.

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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