Florida’s latest COVID-19 caseload adds 14 in Jacksonville; 2 more deaths in Clay County

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The number of coronavirus cases tracked by the Florida Department of Health’s increased nearly 400 overnight as more testing is being done and more results are coming in.

Thursday morning, the state reported 2,355 cases of Floridians and visitors to the state diagnosed with COVID-19.

There we five additional deaths reported overnight — 28 total — including two more in Clay County, bringing their total to four, the most of any county in North Florida.

The new numbers included 14 additional cases in Duval County, five new cases in St. Johns County and the number of positive cases in Putnam County doubled from six to 12. Clay County and Alachua counties added three cases each, and one additional case each in Nassau and Flagler counties.

County-by-county breakdown of Northeast Florida cases

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President Donald Trump declared Florida a disaster area, saying the coronavirus outbreak is having a “drastic effect” on the state’s economy and medical providers.

In a letter to Trump requesting the declaration, Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote that Florida’s “hospitals, medical facilities, and first responders are facing challenges rarely experienced before.” and the state has already spent $208 million on related unemployment assistance, food stamps, disaster loans and mental health counseling.

Such a declaration makes Florida eligible for federal aid. This is no hurricane, but DeSantis wrote that the state’s medical system is already burdened and the situation will get worse, with limited testing.

Many of Florida’s harder-hit municipalities ordered all their residents to shelter-in-place on Tuesday after DeSantis argued against a statewide order and blamed people flying in from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for potentially spreading the coronavirus.

Gainesville and surrounding Alachua County, where the 36 confirmed cases include college students returning from Spring Break, also issued “stay at home” orders on Monday. Gainesville is the home of the University of Florida and a community college. All schools in Florida are closed.

Duval County is under a work-from-home mandate ordered Monday.

Around Florida, officials have restricted travel on the only two roads leading into the Florida Keys from the mainland. Monroe County announced Tuesday that southbound traffic stops will be in place near the county line on U.S. 1 and on State Road 905 by early Friday. The stations are meant to reinforce the island chain’s previous closure to visitors and non-residents.

The “Safer at Home” order went into effect Tuesday for Miami Beach residents. Other Miami-Dade County municipalities, including Bay Harbor Islands and Bal Harbour Village, issued similar orders Monday night.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings issued a stay-at-home order for the county that includes Orlando. The order goes into effect on Thursday.

“People should only be outside for exercise and attending to their necessities like shopping for groceries or visiting a pharmacy,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a statement. “It won’t be like this forever, but for now in a community like ours this makes the most sense.”

Company officials said Tuesday that they are extending the closure of Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood through April 19. …read more

Source:: Headlines News4jax


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