COVID-19 surge continues in Northeast Florida
Image via AP.

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For the second week in a row, Northeast Florida is seeing troubling signs.

Positive COVID-19 diagnoses continue to be a trend statewide, and Northeast Florida faces an especially acute problem.

That’s the story told by the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, encompassing the week of July 2-8.

Jacksonville and surrounding areas continue to see positive test rates well above those in the rest of the state, which are up this week to 7.8% from 5.2% the week before.

Duval County saw 2,122 new cases for the week, and a staggering 15.7% rate of positive tests. The numbers are worse than the week prior. From June 25 to July 1, Duval County reported 1,420 cases, with an 11.1% positive test rate.

Bedroom counties show similar trendlines of viral growth.

Baker County, which includes MacClenny, had a 22.9% positive test rate during the reporting period. That was up from a 16.4% positive testing rate, among the highest in the state, the previous week.

However, Baker wasn’t the highest in the region this week. That distinction went to Bradford, which saw a 23.3% rate of positive tests. That was up from 13.4% the week prior.

Clay’s positive test rate soared to 16.1% over the same period, up nearly 6 percentage points from the week before.

Nassau County’s 17.6% positive rate was up also, more than 4 percentage points week over week.

Meanwhile, the brightest spot in the region is still affluent St. Johns County. Though even there, the positive test rate of 13.4% was well above the state average. It was also up 3.5% from the week before.

Anecdotal evidence of the problems the resurgent virus is creating is evident, especially in Duval County’s governmental affairs.

The Duval County Jail and court system wrestle with the potential problems created by viral spread everywhere from First Appearance Court to the aging and overcrowded lockup itself.

Meanwhile, a member of the Jacksonville City Council has been hospitalized with the virus.

Democrat Ju’Coby Pittman was in the ICU at a local hospital earlier this week. She is said to be recovering.

However, as those who have fought with the virus know, recovery can be a long and tortuous road. And for Northeast Florida, the task of taming the coronavirus has proven to be a persistent public health challenge, one that continues to recur in the pandemic’s second year.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • MJT

    July 10, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Looking at the stats another way, if the Jacksonville metro area (Duval, St Johns, Clay, Nassau, Baker) were its own state, it would have a population of about 1.62 million and be the 40th largest state in the country.

    There were 3,234 cases were reported last week, yielding a 7-day average case load of 28.5 cases per 100K population.

    Per the NY Times tracker, the national covid average is 6 cases per 100K. The state with the highest load, Arkansas, is at 23 cases per 100K.

    So if NE Florida were its own state, it would have the highest covid rate in the nation…by far. Please be careful everyone.

  • Johny Reb

    July 10, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    I hope everyone is not believing all this talk of Covid.. Dont drink the cool aid.

  • Douglas Adkins

    July 11, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    We have moved to start locking things down again to protect our residents at both of our Assisted Living Facilities and we have a mandatory vaccination requirement for all staff and third parties. The infection rate in Nassau County is now 17.5%. Its essential that people understand how serious this could get.

Comments are closed.


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