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Positive testing rate on the decline in Hillsborough, Pinellas, but longterm care cases are on the rise

Pinellas County has added nearly 200 cases in longterm care facilities in less than a week.

The percent of tests returning positive is on the decline for two days in a row in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, though both are showing an uptick in cases at longterm care facilities, a troubling metric that has potentially dire outcomes.

Hillsborough County’s positivity rate dropped to 12.9% Friday, down from 14.2% Thursday. Both days saw significant numbers of tests returned with 5,981 Thursday and 4,664 Friday.

Pinellas showed even more signs of promise, with the positivity rate dropping below 10% two days in a row. The 10% rate is the point at which health care professionals see signs of concern for rampant community spread.

The positivity rate dipped to 7.3%, down from 9.6% the day prior. The seven day average remains above 11%.

New cases were also down in both counties. Hillsborough County added 698 new cases between Friday and Saturday morning, with 18,360 total. Friday’s report added nearly 1,000 new cases.

Pinellas County added just 303 new cases in Saturday’s report, for a total of 10,596.

But both counties are seeing an influx in new cases at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Hillsborough added two new cases in longterm care facilities for a total of 900 since the pandemic began. While that number is low, the county has added 81 new cases since July 4. Still, the rate of cases in longterm care facilities relative to overall cases is still on the decline, now at 5%. On July 4 the rate was 6%.

Pinellas County, however, has leveled off after steadily declining in the rate of longterm care facility cases, now at 13% of all cases. The county added 36 new cases in Saturday’s report and has added 199 since July 4. The rate in longterm care facilities in early June was around 30%.

Pinellas County now has logged 1,339 cases in those facilities.

Hillsborough County also added 10 new hospitalizations for a total of 799 since the pandemic began. One additional person died, bringing that total to 187.

Pinellas County added 30 new hospitalizations, 893 total, and six new deaths, bringing the death toll to 229, one of the highest in the state behind only South Florida.


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

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