277 COVID-19 deaths in Florida reported state record Friday

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The COVID-19 death toll reported by the Florida Department of Health on Friday linked the state’s deadliest day in August – a tragic reminder that the state is still in a second peak of this pandemic .

That brings the number of deaths from the virus in the state to 25,405.

Only nine of the deaths reported Friday were from northeast Florida: three in Baker County and one each in Bradford, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

State health officials confirmed an additional 13,719 cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total number of cases since March 1 to 1,627,603.

Duval County added 1,034 new cases of the virus on Friday – the sixth time that the daily increase in cases in Jacksonville has exceeded 1,000 in the past four weeks.

The positive test rate was back on Thursday, surpassing 13% statewide, Duval County was above 10% for the first time in days, St. John’s jumped to 13.16%, Clay reported 14.6%, Nassau was 16.8%, Flagler’s was 18.51%, and Columbia County’s rate was 20.31%. Only the positivity rates for Alachua and Putnam counties were below 10% on Thursday.

There have been at least 69,735 hospitalizations of residents attributed to the novel coronavirus in Florida since the start of the epidemic and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reported on Friday afternoon 6,904 currently hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 – vs. 7,367 people at the start of the week.

Florida also took another troubling milestone this week, when it surpassed 9,000 deaths of residents and staff of long-term care facilities, the vast majority involving seniors in nursing homes and nursing homes. assisted living facilities.

At least 1,183,012 vaccines have been administered in Florida, with 123,971 people in the state receiving the two necessary vaccines, but some vaccination sites have had to close because they have used up their allotment and continued frustration from skilled people who have not been. was able to get an appointment for a photo shoot.

But officials are trying to ramp up coronavirus vaccinations as concern spreads over a new, more contagious variant that could gain a foothold in the state.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Florida had 46 confirmed cases of the most transmissible strain of COVID-19 on Sunday, eclipsing California with 40 confirmed cases at last count. The strain was first detected in the UK in December and has started to spread around the world.

Early evidence seems to indicate that the new strain is no more deadly than the earlier strains that sickened nearly 24.2 million people in the United States and killed over 400,000. Florida is now approaching 1, 6 million confirmed cases, with nearly 10,000 new cases and about 160 additional deaths reported on Tuesday. To date, the state has reported more than 24,400 virus-related deaths.

“This new strain is more contagious, and that means more people will be infected,” said Dr. Frederick Southwick, professor of medicine and infectious disease specialist at the University of Florida. “If we had a problem, we will have more now. ”

Communities across the country are battling rising infections as they wait for more doses of two vaccines approved for use against the virus.

“The action plan is what it was before: vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, try to really crush this virus and reduce the total number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” said said Dr Glenn Morris, Director. from the Institute of Emerging Pathogens at the University of Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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