Fueled by youth, Hillsborough, Pinellas shatter coronavirus numbers
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Hillsborough is approaching 5,000 cases as Pinellas crosses 3,000.

Both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties had another record-setting day, as coronavirus cases continue to spike statewide.

Hillsborough reported a record 300 new cases Thursday, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Health. The surge means Hillsborough will likely surpass 5,000 cases by Saturday. Since the beginning of the pandemic 4,982 people have now been diagnosed in Hillsborough.

Thursday’s county is up from 219 Wednesday and the previous high Tuesday of 245.

Pinellas also reported a record 230 new cases Thursday, bringing its total to 3,153. Thursday’s surge far outpaced Tuesday and Wednesday, which say 170 ad 143 new cases, respectively.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has continued to resist calls to roll back some of his reopening strategy amid the new spike in cases, first arguing the increase was related to increased testing.

However, overall testing rates don’t support that argument. Hillsborough County has had a positive test rate in the double digits every day for the past three days. On Thursday the rate was 14.1%.

Pinellas saw double digit rates two of the last three days with 12% on Tuesday and 11.5% on Thursday.

Realizing it was impossible to ignore that trend, the Governor has now shifted his talking points, arguing instead that the virus expansion is trending younger.

The data bares that out.

The median age of people who have contracted the virus is trending downward, landing at 38 in Hillsborough and 43 in Pinellas.

Everyday but one over the past two weeks has seen the median age of new cases below 40.

The 25-34 age demographic in recent weeks became both counties’ most affected group, a stark contrast to the early days of the virus when it was trending much older.

The changing trend is also evident in Pinellas County where outbreaks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities had been largely driving its caseload.

Between Wednesday and Thursday Pinellas went from having a quarter of all of its patients from longterm care facilities to just 23%. While it’s still nine points higher than the state average, it shows new cases among younger people are driving the latest expansion.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Robert S.

    June 19, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    More precisely: “Fueled by morons…”

    How stupid can a demographic be?

  • Jim Donelon

    June 19, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    The youngsters thought it only affected oldsters because most of those affected were in Nursing Homes. So when give the opportunity they went out in great crowds and now the second wave is hitting them.


  • BlueHeron

    June 20, 2020 at 3:20 am

    Sure, DeSantis will just shrug and say “expanding younger”. And?
    The citizens of Florida are NOT receiving proper information and guidance.
    These young folks who are testing positive are probably going to be “spreaders” and not actually become ill. The same can be said for many others.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that we are on our own in terms of managing this crisis. We will get no real assistance or guidance from the State.

    I’m fatigued as much as anyone but we need to mask it, sanitize and distance. My mask protects you and everyone I come in contact with. I fully expect others to mask it to protect me and everyone they come in contact with.

    Your personal freedom and manhood/womanhood will not be compromised. You look fine, they’re not that uncomfortable. Sure, it could mess up your makeup but, seriously?!

    We need to stop being selfish and protect each other.

Comments are closed.


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