JACKSONVILLE, Floride – Florida has dropped below 15,000 new COVID-19 cases just two days since the New Year with 15,445 coronavirus cases added on Saturday.
The state has now reported 456,531 cases since December 1, when Florida surpassed the million mark.
The current spike in infections is higher than what the state saw during its previous peak in coronavirus cases in late July. The number of new cases in Florida in the first nine days of 2021 has reached 141,382, more than Gainesville’s total population.
The Flordia Department of Health has now identified 1,464,697 people with COVID-19 since the state’s first case was identified on March 1, 2020. Florida reported 139 more deaths on Saturday, bringing the total to l ‘State at 23,150.
There were 802 more cases added in Duval County on Saturday. Three more deaths in Jacksonville in Saturday’s FDOH report were among eight deaths in 11 counties in northeast Florida.
St. Johns County added 165 cases on Saturday, Clay County had 170 more, Nassau County added 86 and Alachua County 176 new cases.
The state’s positive test rate on Friday was 10.79%. Duval County’s rate was slightly lower than Florida’s, and Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties were all over 13%.
As of 4 p.m. on Saturday, 7,456 people in the state were hospitalized with the virus and less than 17% of the state’s hospital beds are available.
People are hungry for vaccines and online registration sites are overwhelmed in most counties, including Duval. Florida followed federal recommendations by starting immunizations for frontline medical workers as well as residents and nursing home staff in mid-December. But instead of putting essential workers and people over 75 years old next, as federal recommendations suggested, Governor Ron DeSantis decided at the end of December to open up vaccinations more widely to people over 65. and more.
So far, more than 514,000 people – just over 2% of the state’s population – have received a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. This total includes 23,389 in Duval County, 9,688 in St. Johns and 4,804 in Clay.
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