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3 more die in Pinellas County due to coronavirus, bringing local death toll to 4

Realtor and community activist Bob Barnum is among the deceased.

The COVID-19 death toll in Pinellas County is now at four after the Florida Department of Health released new data Saturday morning.

The new deaths include an 83-year-old woman, a 64-year-old man and a 52-year-old man. DoH did not release the individuals’ identities, however St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted Saturday that realtor Bob Barnum was among those who have died.

The total number of identified COVID-19 cases in Pinellas County has now reached 94 including 83 residents and 11 non-residents. Those affected range in age from 18 to 83 with 61 men testing positive and 33 women.

In addition to the deaths, 33 people have been or are currently hospitalized due to the illness.

The majority of reported cases have affected those between the ages of 55 and 64 with 24 cases reported among that age demographic. That’s followed by the 65-74 group with 21 cases. Fourteen people between the ages of 45 and 54 have tested positive while 11 individuals aged 25-34 and seven between 15 and 24 and 35 and 44 have also tested positive.

Pinellas County has tested a total of 1,586 individuals.

Barnum has been a realtor in Pinellas County for more than 25 years. Kriseman shared the news of his passing in a tweet showing a photo of Barnum presenting the city’s civilian of the year award.

“COVID-19 hitting closer and closer to home. Bob Barnum was a great guy. He was especially kind to @StPetePD & dedicated himself to many causes in our city. I will miss our friend and forever be thankful for his support,” Kriseman wrote.

Other condolences also rolled in on social media.

“Bob was a pioneer among LGBT Realtors and he was a Broker that I greatly admired and respected. Bob was also a strong supporter of our police department as well as many of our local elected officials. I first met Bob at his office during St. Pete Pride many years ago. It was just after Steve Kornell’s first election, and Steve had run much of his campaign out of Bob’s office,” wrote fellow realtor Bobby Poth on Facebook.

Poth and Kornell, a former St. Pete City Council member, were formerly domestic partners.

Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith also offered condolences.

“Sad news. Robert Ernest Barnum has passed away due to complications brought on by the coronavirus. I bought the first home I owned by myself from Bob. He was a generous supporter of Equality Florida in our early days and he was a passionate advocate for survivors of domestic violence. He had all the dirt on the Golden Girls and he introduced me to circus art,” Smith wrote.

Barnum owned Earnest Realty in St. Petersburg and was active in the community. He served as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida and served on the board of directors for CASA for seven year including two years as the non-profit’s treasurer.

 

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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