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Pinellas County records single day coronavirus surge as Hillsborough crosses 13K

More troubling trends in Tampa Bay.

It’s Pinellas County’s turn to take the never-desired accolade of a seemingly always increasing pandemic load.

The county added 448 new cases from Thursday morning to Friday morning, nearly 100 more than the previous 24-hours. The county’s total case count is now at 7,697, rapidly hurling toward the five-figure mark.

The uptick is attributable to more testing — with 3,202 tests returned Thursday compared to 2,698 Wednesday. However, the share of positive tests returned in that batch also went up. The Thursday positivity rate was 12.4%, up from 11.8% the day prior.

Another 24 people were hospitalized Thursday with the virus, bringing the total seeking hospital care for the virus throughout the pandemic to 709.

The county also recorded three new deaths, raising that total to 183 Thursday.

Hillsborough County, meanwhile, returned fewer positive tests Thursday than Wednesday with 668. The county surpassed 13,000 cases, now with 13,044.

Both the positivity rate and the overall number of people tested went down Thursday in Hillsborough County. The positivity rate was 17%, down from 18.1% Wednesday. Only 3,212 tests were returned, compared to 4,041 Wednesday.

The state only tracks Florida residents in its testing metrics.

The county added 20 hospitalizations, up to 654, and three new deaths, with that total now at 148.

Both counties continue to see an increase in demand for testing, as tests are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Public testing in Hillsborough County has a more than two-week wait time. In Pinellas, motorists are waiting in long lines for tests and, often, turned away as capacity is quickly exceeded.

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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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