COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus.

Three more COVID-19 deaths were announced today in Alachua County, bringing the county’s total death toll to five.

The latest deaths recorded are all tied to long-term care facilities in the county, said Paul Myers, the county’s health department administrator. While he confirmed that four of the five deaths are linked to the facilities, he said he was unable to specify which facilities are involved.

The state’s list of long-term care facilities with positive COVID-19 cases shows there are currently 41 confirmed cases of the virus in Alachua County’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A description at the top of the list notes that the data isn’t cumulative, or a running total. Instead, it reflects what the facilities are currently reporting.

According to the list, Parklands Care Center, located at 1000 SW 16th Ave., has 18 positive residents and nine positive staff members. Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, located at 5100 SW 25th Blvd., has confirmed six positive residents and six staff members. Palm Garden of Gainesville, located at 227 SW 62nd Blvd., and Signature Healthcare of Gainesville, each have one confirmed resident case.

Alachua County’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise — but slower recently.

Increasing by five or fewer cases each day during the last week, the county reached a total of 267 positive cases and 46 hospitalizations this morning, according to the state dashboard. The ages of those with the virus range from 2 to 94. The median age is 49.

The state dashboard shows that Florida’s total number of COVID-19 cases is nearing 33,700 as of Thursday morning. Yesterday, Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined his plans to begin lifting Florida’s stay-at-home orders on Monday for all counties excluding Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, where the virus has hit especially hard.

Contact Alex DeLuca at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AlexLDeLuca