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Three more Citrus County residents died Wednesday of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to five for the county. It was the county's largest number of deaths reported in a single day.

The three who tested positive and died at hospital were an 88-year-old man, an 84-year-old man, and a 74-year-old woman.  

“The Florida Department of Health in Citrus County expresses our condolences to their loved ones,” said DOH spokeswoman Audrey Stasko. “We will continue to work with community partners to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The previous two deaths were an 87-year-old and an 80-year-old. Both were men.

The three reported deaths in a single day was the largest jump in fatalities due to the coronavirus that has now spread across the globe.

Stasko said the three deaths were not unexpected.

“As we continue to see more positive cases, we’re also going to see more deaths, unfortunately,” she told the Chronicle.

There are 55 positive cases in Citrus County. The age of the infected ranges from 17 years to 88 years. That includes those who have died.

Eighteen people have been hospitalized in Citrus County because of the virus, according to Florida Department of Health records. That includes both those who died, those who improved and were sent home, and those still remaining in one of the county’s two hospitals.

Of Citrus County’s 55 case, 26 are men and 29 are women.

The county has tested 737 people that showed symptoms. Of those, 678 tested negative for the disease, five are still pending, and one was inconclusive.

There are a total of 15,698 cases throughout Florida and 323 deaths, according to the FDOH.

Stasko said that while any COVID-19 case is unfortunate, Citrus is working hard to encourage social distancing and the county is showing hopeful results.

Citrus County has 55 cases, 25 of which are in the Inverness area. Sumter has 91 cases. Marion County has 68. Hernando County has 57.   

Positive cases and fatalities are reported by DOH twice a day, at approximately 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., on the DOH COVID-19 Dashboard. Please visit the Florida Department of Health's COVID-19 site at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ where you can find important information regarding what you need to know now about COVID-19 in Florida.

For information about the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County, visit www.CitrusCountyHealth.org or follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthCitrus.

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.