Florida reports lowest rate of positive COVID-19 tests since early June


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health reported another 2,660 cases of COVID-19 statewide on Friday to bring the state’s total to 711,804 since the pandemic began.

The state also reported that Thursday’s positivity rate for new cases was 3.77% — the lowest daily rate the state has seen since June 8 when it reported a 3.71% positivity rate.

For 12 of the last 14 days, the state’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests has remained at or below 5% — a key threshold watched by state leaders.

Statewide, the health department reported 111 additional deaths Friday related to COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 14,730 in about seven months.

According to the state report, Duval County has now reported 419 deaths since the pandemic began. Clay County has reported 105 deaths and St. Johns County has reported 73 deaths.

As of Thursday morning, 23 people with the virus were hospitalized at UF Health, with 10 in the ICU and two on ventilators. That’s a big difference when compared to August where there were over 100 hospitalized.

UF Health said it is now looking to make changes.

“How can we think about new things we’ve got to deliver. We’ve got our PPE’s we’re great with contact tracing. We are still doing a lot of testing. Our colleagues in Gainesville have now developed a saliva test which isn’t in mass production yet and hopefully, we can bring that to the community,” said Dr. Leon Haley, CEO of UF Health.

At UF Health, there have been 86 deaths attributed to COVID-19, including two staff members. On the other side, they have sent 570 people home.

“Our oldest patient survivor was a 106-year-old patient,” Haley said. “She came in as a COVID patient very early and we were able to take care of her and get her home.”

But the hospital said it has seen a number of pregnant women and moms come down with COVID-19 and there have been some babies with the virus as well.

There were 2,066 people hospitalized with the virus as of Friday afternoon.

In Duval County, 121 new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday. There have now been a total of 30,787 cases in Jacksonville.

In Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Flagler, Alachua, Bradford and Putnam counties, the positivity rate was below 5% Thursday.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain, and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia.

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