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FORT WALTON BEACH — The number of cases of COVID-19 recorded in long-term care facilities in Okaloosa County jumped by six people in a single day, from two on Tuesday morning to eight 24 hours later, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

By way of comparison, neither neighboring Walton County to the east, nor Santa Rosa County to the west, had reported any COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities as of Wednesday morning.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in Okaloosa County long-term care facilities was part of a statewide increase in those cases on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those numbers went from 358 cases in 40 counties on Tuesday to 475 cases in 41 counties by Wednesday evening.

Allison McDaniel, public information officer for the Okaloosa County Health Department, had no immediate explanation for the notable increase in COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities in the county.

McDaniel did, however, note that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is greater “in congregate-care settings” and that the older people in those facilities also are at higher risk for contracting diseases.

A 96-year-old was one of Okaloosa County’s new cases, according to the report released twice a day by the state health department.

Health Department personnel visit the long-term care facilities in the county on a regular basis, McDaniel said, although she couldn’t say specifically how often those visits are conducted.

In other developments in Okaloosa County related to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, April has brought with it a noticeable and consistent rise in the number of local COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

For the 28 days between March 3 and March 31, a total of 39 COVID-19 cases were reported in the county, according to FDOH data.

That number had already been nearly matched between April 1 and April 7, when 34 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the county.

In all there have been 78 COVID-19 cases reported in Okaloosa County as of Wednesday morning. Thus far, those cases have resulted in one death and 11 hospitalizations, according to FDOH data through Wednesday.

According to FDOH data, the vast majority of the county’s COVID-19 cases are concentrated in Destin, with 22 cases, and in Fort Walton Beach, with 20 cases. As listed by ZIP code in FDOH data, there are 14 COVID-19 cases in Niceville, eight in Crestview, seven in Shalimar, two in Mary Esther and two at Eglin Air Force Base.

Just since Monday, 14 new COVID-19 cases had been reported in Okaloosa County as of midafternoon Wednesday, affecting men and women ranging in age from 30 to 96.

By way of comparison, neighboring Walton County, which had 26 cases reported between March 18 and April 6, and had many days when no cases were reported, had just one day when more than 3 cases were reported. That day was March 23, when six cases were reported.

There have been three hospitalizations in Walton County for COVID-19, and no deaths.

To the west in neighboring Santa Rosa County, where 70 COVID-19 cases have been reported since March 4, peaks in new cases came between March 28 and March 30, when a total of 25 cases were reported, and Sunday and Monday, when 20 cases were reported.

There have been 12 hospitalizations and two deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Santa Rosa County, according to FDOH data.

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