Three counties remain with zero COVID-19 infections, all in North FL

Three counties left in Florida with no COVID-19 infections. They are Gilchrist, Lafayette and Liberty. Screenshot, FL Department of Health data.

Just a week and a half ago, the Florida Phoenix wrote that 20 Florida counties had zero infections of COVID-19. Since then, almost all those counties have fallen off the coronavirus-free list.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only three counties remain with zero infections, Gilchrist, Lafayette and Liberty, according to Florida Department of Health data analyzed by the Phoenix.

All three zero-infection counties in North Florida are buttressed by their borders.

They are not on the water, hugging the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic side of the peninsula. They’re not on the Georgia border.

Gilchrist borders Alachau to the west. Alachua is home of the University of Florida in Gainesville. It has 141 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Lafayette County is northwest of Gilchrist, surrounded by the counties of Dixie, Suwannee, Gilchrist, Madison and Taylor. As of Tuesday afternoon, Taylor fell off the zero-infection list, with one confirmed case.

Liberty County is to the west of Tallahassee, bordered by Franklin, Wakulla, Leon, Gadsden, Calhoun, Gulf and Jackson.

A small number of residents in all three counties have been tested for the coronavirus, and the results were negative, according to the state health department data.

It’s unclear if those three counties will remain coronavirus-free. But infections are rising every day, and the state health department posts the numbers twice daily.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the department reported 14,504 infections in 64 of 67 counties in Florida.

Miami-Dade has 4,997 cases; Broward, 2,213, and Palm Beach, 1,136. Those counties have been the center of the coronavirus pandemic in Florida.

The department reported 283 deaths Tuesday afternoon, up from 254 Monday evening. The deaths reported are in Brevard, Broward, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hernando, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Sumter counties.

You can look at state health department data here.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.