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Hillsborough Co. crosses 12,000 in steady coronavirus up-tick

More tests = more cases. But testing is still in high-demand.

After a few days of dipping, Hillsborough County saw another staggering increase in coronavirus cases between Wednesday and Thursday morning, adding 911 new cases for a total of 12,376.

It’s less than the county’s worse day last Friday, but shows what happens when tests drop and then suddenly pick up again.

Wednesday’s positivity rate was 18.1%, up just barely from 17.9% Tuesday. Despite the relatively steady positivity rate, 189 more positive tests were returned Wednesday than Thursday, numbers which exclude non-residents. That’s because the state logged 4,044 new tests Wednesday compared to just 3,223 Tuesday.

Hillsborough went from returning a high of 5,331 tests Friday to less than 4,700 Saturday, 2,250 Sunday and just 1,950 Monday.

Meanwhile, the county continues to experience high demand for testing with residents on waitlists more than two weeks long.

The data suggests a troubling trend where already record high increases might not even be fully reflected.

Also troubling, the county added five new deaths Wednesday, up from 140 Tuesday to 145. The county also added 11 more hospitalizations day-over-day, a metric that shows ongoing pressure on the local health care system.

Meanwhile, Pinellas County continues its steady uptick in new cases with 388 more from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, bringing the county’s total to 7,249.

A staggering eight new deaths were also added, bringing the county’s death toll to 180.

The positivity rate in Pinellas also remains high with a seven day average of 12.2%. Wednesday’s rate was 11.7%, down from 16% Tuesday.

The county is also testing more people, returning 2,702 results Wednesday compared to 2,013 Tuesday. Like Hillsborough, Pinellas County residents continue having trouble accessing tests.

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Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up to date data as of about 9:30 a.m.

Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, considers a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.

This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include non-residents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data, therefore some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.

Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.

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 Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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