JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than 278,000 people worldwide -- including nearly 20,000 people in the United States -- have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. Officials are attempting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia as schools, businesses and public events are closed or canceled.
Action News Jax has the very latest information on Florida cases of the coronavirus LIVE on FOX30 and CBS47. Click here to watch.
Hundreds tested for COVID-19 in Jacksonville in past 2 days
March 21, 10:15 p.m.: Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry revealed that hundreds of people were tested on Saturday between two sites at Lot J and the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
The mayor shared on Twitter, “Lot J testing started today. As of 4:19 pm 322 people were screened and 276 met testing criteria & were tested. Total test samples from Prime Osborn are 374 people. That is 650 people tested over the last 2 days.”
Sawgrass Country Club member tests positive for COVID-19
March 21, 9:45 p.m.: Sawgrass Country Club sent its members an email on Saturday that said one of its members tested positive for coronavirus.
The club said in the email, in part:
"Today, we have been informed by a member that they have tested positive for COVID 19 and had visited the Club this past weekend playing golf and spending time in the lounge prior to our recent club operation modification. The people with that member and their guests have been notified. However, if you were in the Golf Club Lounge in the afternoon of Saturday or Sunday, you may have been exposed. That member has not been at the Club since Sunday.
“If you have any questions regarding such exposure or concerns, you should call your healthcare provider for medical advice. We’ve consulted with medical professionals and CDC guidelines and feel that the current restraints on our operation are sufficient to maintain it in the current use pattern. However, this process is very fluid and will continue to be evaluated on a daily basis!”
Nassau County beaches closing Sunday at 6 a.m.
March 21, 6:30 p.m.: Nassau County beaches will be closing on Sunday at 6 a.m., the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. The executive order from Nassau County Emergency Management said “the increased pedestrian traffic, due to other beach closures, presents an enforcement issue as to gatherings and other CDC, Gubernatorial and Presidential guidelines.”
New cases reported in Duval, St. Johns, Clay counties
March 21, 6:18 p.m.: New coronavirus numbers released by the Florida Department of Health on Saturday evening show that five new cases have been reported in Duval County, one new case has been reported in St. Johns County and one new case has been reported in Clay County. Among the cases in Duval County, one of them is an 11-year-old child. Click here to see a full breakdown of cases across the state.
Florida’s State Park beaches close due to COVID-19, overcrowding
March 21, 4:25 p.m.: Florida State Parks said the Department of Environmental protection is closing state park beaches due to overcrowding. Other state parks are open for day-use recreation like hiking & biking which allow social distancing.
Macclenny rehab center releases statement about Baker County COVID-19 case
March 21, 3:48 p.m.: Macclenny Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has released a statement about the first COVID-19 case in Baker County in one of its residents:
"First, we want to express our heartfelt concern for our resident who has been diagnosed positive for coronavirus; our thoughts are also with the individual’s loved ones at this difficult time. The individual was a prior hospital admission who had resided at our center for several days. Upon showing signs of respiratory congestion, our team took swift action to isolate the individual, contact our county health department for testing and, upon notification of a positive result; the individual was transferred out of the center to receive hospital care.
"Our team of dedicated health care professionals also worked quickly to isolate residents who were in close proximity to this individual and those residents have also been tested.
"Coronavirus is a particularly dangerous virus for the elderly, which is why we have been vigilant in our efforts to keep our residents safe and take significant measures to limit the spread of the virus. We have restricted visitors and our team is donning masks and using gloves in accordance with regulatory guidance. We also continue to follow CDC guidelines and adhere to all protocols for pre-screening residents prior to any admission, infection control techniques and personal protective equipment recommendations.
“We fully recognize how difficult this time is for our residents and for their loved ones, but their safety is our utmost concern. Working in conjunction with all appropriate authorities, we are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of exposure to all of our residents and our staff and will continue to do so until the coronavirus threat has subsided.”
Mayor of Fernandina Beach closes beaches
Update 2:37 p.m. The mayor of Fernandina Beach closed down the beaches effective 5 p.m. Saturday.
Additionally, access to City facilities will be restricted to city officials and staff, county, state, and federal officials, janitorial contractors, and delivery services, with the exception of agencies that operate within city facilities.
White House Coronavirus Task Force provides update
March 21 1 p.m.: The White House Coronavirus Task Force announced that there has been a tremendous federal response across the country Saturday. President Donald Trump stressed that people should “stay at home and save lives.”
Baker County reports first COVID-19 case
March 21 11:30 a.m.: According to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, the county received confirmation of its first positive case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The Sheriff’s Office says the person ill with the virus is an 87-year-old woman.
The Florida Department of Health in Baker County (DOH-Baker) is now conducting its contact investigation and working to identify and notify individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period.
New Duval COVID-19 death reported
March 21 11:20 a.m.: A new Duval County coronavirus death has been reported by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection. There are now two total deaths in Duval County being reported by the FDOH.
Federal COVID-19 testing begins at TIAA
March 21, 9 a.m.: Limited testing for COVID-19 is being held in Lot J outside TIAA Bank Field from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to the City of Jacksonville, testing will only be performed on individuals 65 years or older with an on-site temperature of 99.6 degrees or higher who are also exhibiting respiratory symptoms. Additionally, first responders and health care workers who have direct contact with patients will be tested regardless of the presence of symptoms.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority has cooling buses staged for the medical professionals on-site.
Mayor Lenny Curry: ‘We must do all we can to stop the spread’
March 21, 6 a.m.: Overnight, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry took to Twitter to address the growing coronavirus pandemic. He stressed that social distancing and isolation are imperative at this time.
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