First Coast pushes past 97,000 cases of COVID-19
Demand is so high for coronavirus tests at Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, cars are backed up on Bay Street wrapping around the stadium. Photo via Drew Dixon.

Positive testing rates are soaring throughout the region.

The five-county First Coast region has tallied more than 97,000 cases of COVID-19 and topped more than 1,300 deaths caused by the pandemic, according to Florida Department of Health data released Monday.

There have now been 97,645 COVID-19 infections in Northeast Florida and 1,161 deaths caused by the affliction. The First Coast positivity test rate also exceeded 15% in every county except one and the average positive test rate for all counties was 17.26% Monday. Only St. Johns County did not break the 15% mark and it still had a 12.93% positivity rate for those people getting coronavirus tests.

Jacksonville broke the 64,000 mark for infections Monday with a total of 64,225. Jacksonville has now recorded 753 deaths due to the pandemic.

Jacksonville’s positivity rate Monday was 15.05%. That’s the second highest rate in Jacksonville for the past two weeks with the highest positivity rate at 22.48% recorded on Dec. 28, a day that saw unusually high rates throughout the state and turned out to be a single day anomaly. Jacksonville’s rate has been below 10% only once in the past half month when on Dec. 24 it was 9.06%.

Clay County now has 11,886 infections and 188 deaths caused by COVID-19. The positivity rate in Clay was 16.09% Monday. Clay has been averaging a 14.82% daily positive test rate since Dec. 21 with the highest rate of 24.73% recorded on Dec. 28, again when rates were unusually high. Clay’s positivity rate has not dipped below 10% in the past half month.

St. Johns County recoded 13,858 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday with 117 deaths. St. Johns has averaged a positivity rate of 13.35% in the past two weeks. Since Dec. 28, St. Johns has recorded a positivity rate of more than 10% every day. But it dipped blow that level on Dec. 23 and Dec. 25 with positivity rates of 9.38% and 9.57% respectively.

Nassau County now has 5,124 cases since the outbreak began and 67 deaths with a 23.84% positivity test rate as of Monday. Nassau has averaged a daily positivity test rate of 19.27% in the past two weeks falling below 10% only once on Dec. 24 when it was 7.9%.

Baker County recorded 2,552 total infections as of Monday with 36 deaths, a figure that hasn’t change since Dec. 15. The positivity rate in Baker is 18.37% and that county has averaged a 17.83% positivity rate since Dec. 21.

There are now 1,376,692 cases of coronavirus in Florida and 22,415 deaths attributed to the affliction across the state.

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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