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A statewide increase in COVID-19-related deaths over the last two weeks is also visible in Alachua County.

There were eight deaths in the time frame, reaching 20 deaths total, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. Paul Myers, an administrator at the county health department, said it’s difficult to say why there’s been an increase recently.

Myers added that for many of the deaths, the health department was “bracing ourselves for their passing” because the patients were already in hospice care.

Eleven of the deaths are related to long-term care facilities, with all but one being linked to Parklands Care Center, Myers said.

A 9-year-old became the youngest patient to die of COVID-19 in Florida on Wednesday. Myers confirmed the death was in Putnam County.

The youngest person to die in Alachua County was 53 years old, Myers said. All deaths in the county were linked to preexisting health conditions.

No deaths have stemmed from the outbreak at the Alachua County Jail or the traveling agricultural workers, he said

The county has also reported 42 new cases of the virus Monday, totaling to 3,186 cases countywide, according to the county’s dashboard. No new deaths were reported Monday.

About 85 percent of hospital beds in the county’s four main hospitals, UF Health Shands Hospital, UF Health Shands Pediatric Hospital, North Florida Regional Medical Center and Malcom Randall Veteran Affairs Medical Center, are currently occupied.

Contact Grethel at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @GrethelAguila.