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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Duval Faces Surge In COVID Cases, Hospital Admissions

COVID-19 vaccine filled syringes
In this June 22, 2021, file photo prepped COVID-19 vaccine filled syringes are at ready for use at a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties reported similar increases amid a drop in vaccination rates and increase in delta variant cases.

Duval County is facing a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and new hospital admissions amid a national decrease in vaccination rates.

According to theFlorida Department of Health, which shifted from releasing daily COVID-19 reports to weekly ones, the state added 23,697 new cases during the week of July 2-8. 

That same report had Duval County reporting 2,127 new cases, the highest number of cases in the county since Feb. 11, for a 15.7% positivity rate, the highest of any Florida county with a population over 1 million.

Within that same population group, Duval has the lowest vaccination rate for residents aged 12 and older at 48%. Florida’s rate is at 58%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites Duval’s seven-day case rate as a 52.46% increase from the week prior, which had 1,420 cases from June 25 to July 1.

New hospital admissions for COVID-19 increased by 73.86% in Duval County to 266 for that week, up from 153 admissions the week prior.

Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties all saw similar surges as well. Clay had 380 cases for a 16.1% positivity rate; Nassau had 214 cases for a 17.6% positivity rate; and St. Johns had 428 cases for a 13.4% positivity rate. 

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, an infectious disease specialist with UF Health Jacksonville, told WJCT News partner News4Jax a surge was possibly hitting the state with a potential peak predicted for late August, something she tied to the delta variant that has made up the majority of new cases.

“If you think the delta variant is bad, the variants are only going to get worse, they’re going to get more serious,” she said.

The variant is considered by the CDC and the World Health Organization to be more infectious and may be more likely to result in hospitalization.

On Friday, the CDC released an early version of a delta variant report using an Oklahoma outbreak as a case study. Out of 47 delta variant cases in the report, four people were fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms.

The report concluded that vaccines approved under emergency use authorization in the U.S. are effective against COVID-19 and its variants, reducing the likelihood of transmission and the severity of symptoms. It also recommended that all eligible residents receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Florida Department of Health has a vaccine locator service, allowing residents to find and schedule a vaccine in their area.

Raymon Troncoso can be reached at, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @RayTroncoso.

Copyright 2021 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Raymon Troncoso
Reporter Raymon Troncoso joined WJCT News in June of 2021 after concluding his fellowship with Report For America, where he was embedded with Capitol News Illinois covering Illinois state government with a focus on policy and equity.