Pinellas County adds 10 new COVID-19 deaths; hospitalization rate grows to 9%

CORONAVIRUS ST PETE (1) (Large)
The county's positivity rate remains below 10%.

Pinellas County confirmed 10 new deaths Friday, according to Florida Department of Health data released Saturday.

The county has now tallied 310 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began, with a mortality rate double the state average at 2% compared to 1%.

The county’s positivity rate continues to show signs of hope despite a continued surge in cases. Friday’s rate of positive tests was 9.2%, the fourth day the average was less than 10%. The positivity rate has been under 10% for eight of the past nine days. The seven-day average is just 8.6% and the two-week average exactly 10%, showing a sustained trend.

Still, Pinellas County added 305 new cases from Friday to Saturday morning and has now reported 13,019 cases. And  40 additional people were hospitalized with COVID-19, raising the hospitalization rate to 9%, up from 8%. The state average is just 6%.

That’s a troubling trend considering hospital availability is low with just 49 of the county’s 242 adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds available as of Saturday. Though there’s more beds available Saturday than there were Friday, meaning more people might have been released from hospitals than were added, at least in the ICU.

Hillsborough County added 601 new cases and has now reported 23,103. Only one additional person died related to COVID-19, for a total of 234, and 37 more were hospitalized, bringing the pandemic total to 953.

Hillsborough has 52 of 324 adult ICU beds available, also an increase from Friday.

The county’s positivity rate continues to be troubling at 15.9% Friday. The county’s seven-day average positivity rate is 14.45%.

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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.

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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.

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

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]



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