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9-year-old Putnam County girl among 140 new statewide deaths

Statewide, there were 140 new deaths, including one non-resident, the second-largest daily death toll increase after the 156 added July 16.
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3D illustration of coronavirus

Nine new coronavirus-related deaths were reported across Northeast Florida Wednesday, including that of a 9-year-old Putnam County girl, the youngest state resident to succumb to COVID-19.

Statewide, there were 140 new deaths, including one non-resident, the second-largest daily death toll increase after the 156 added July 16, for a total of 5,459 during the pandemic. The number of cases rose by 9,785, from 369,834 to 379,619, including 621 new cases in Northeast Florida, according to the state Department of Health.

The new area deaths included three in Duval County, three in Putnam County and one each in Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

The Putnam girl was the youngest to die since an 11-year-old Miami boy died June 30. He had numerous pre-existing conditions, according to news reports.

Other deaths included a 99-year-old man, a 91-year-old woman and a 81-year-old woman in Duval; a 58-year-old woman and a 70-year-old woman in Putnam; a 45-year-old man in Nassau; 71-year-old man in Clay and 56-year-old woman in St. Johns.

The 621 newly-reported area cases were led by Duval, with 435. Clay reported 52; St. Johns, 58; Putnam, 44; Nassau, 27; and Baker, 5.

Across Florida, 9,492 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, including 689 across Northeast Florida. Active area hospitalizations dropped by 13 in Duval, to 515; by 4 in Clay, to 80; by one in Putnam, to 17; and by 1 in Nassau, to 3. Baker hospitalizations rose by one to 34, while St. Johns’ number was unchanged, at 40.

Statewide, 13.5 percent of tests processed Tuesday were positive, the lowest figure since 10.3 percent reported June 24.

In Northeast Florida, most counties also reported lower positive-test result rates. Duval’s percentage was 6.4 percent, the lowest since June 17. Clay’s dropped to 6.0 percent, Baker’s to 4.3 percent and Nassau’s to 5.3. But the rates rose in Putnam, 10.8 percent, and St. Johns, 10.0 percent, according to state figures.

Total deaths reported in long-term care facilities were 2,495 statewide, a rise of 297 long-term care deaths in a single week. In response to the continuing surge, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he will send “incident management teams” to all long-term care facilities.

The teams will check on the facilities’ infection control and screening procedures, as well as their supplies of personal protection equipment, DeSantis said.