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Pinellas County COVID-19 positivity rate plummets in latest data

The rate of positive tests in Hillsborough is also on the decline for the third straight day.

The “plateau” Gov. Ron DeSantis touted Saturday may be evidenced in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties where the daily positivity rates for new COVID-19 tests dropped for a third day in a row.

The rate of new positive tests in Hillsborough dropped to 12.4% Saturday from 12.9% Friday and 14.2% Thursday, all down from a near-record of 19.8% Wednesday.

The news is even better in Pinellas where the positivity rate dropped to 5.6% Saturday from 7.3% Friday and 9.6% Thursday. The county’s seven-day average is almost below the 10% threshold for which health officials find cause for concern, at 10.4%.

Pinellas County also added just 248 new cases Saturday, a drop from 303 Friday.

Hillsborough County, however, added 790 new cases Saturday, an increase from the 698 new cases added Friday. The county also added nine new hospitalizations Saturday and one additional death for a total of 808 and 188, respectively.

An additional 14 people were hospitalized Saturday in Pinellas County, according to Florida Department of Health data released Sunday, for a total of 907 hospitalizations since the pandemic’s onset. No new deaths were reported in Sunday’s report, leaving the death toll at 229, one of the highest in the state behind only three South Florida Counties that have served as the pandemic’s epicenter in the state.

New cases in longterm care facilities also continue to trickle in for both counties, with seven new cases in Hillsborough and 15 in Pinellas, for a total of 907 in Hillsborough and 1,354 in Pinellas.

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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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