More than a quarter of Hillsborough County COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed in the past week

COVID-19 Tampa 813
But the county's positivity rate dropped below 10% for the first time this month.

Hillsborough County confirmed 16 new deaths Tuesday as new cases and positive test rates stabilize.

The new deaths bring the county’s tally to 260. Over the past week, the county has confirmed 68 new deaths, more than 26% of all of the county’s fatal COVID-19 cases.

Deaths are a lagging indicator in the coronavirus pandemic, with death toll increases typically following case spikes by two to three weeks.

While the county is still regularly seeing 300-400 new cases per day, case counts have begun to come down from the 700-1000 cases counted daily earlier in the month.

Hillsborough tallied 341 new cases from Tuesday to Wednesday morning and now has 24,891 cases total since the pandemic began.

The county’s positivity rate remains high, overall, however. The two week rate is still 13.9% and one-week average 13.2%, which shows a slight decrease in unfavorable testing outcomes.

Tuesday’s single-day positivity rate also plummeted to 8%, the first time this month the rate has fallen below 10%.

Hospital capacity remains a concern with 48 new COVID-19 patients going to the hospital Tuesday. The county has less than 10% availability in its adult intensive care units (ICU.) Only 36 of 349 adult ICU beds remain available, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Pinellas County, meanwhile, remains in better position with just 266 new cases recorded from Tuesday to Wednesday morning, for a total of 14,191 cases.

It’s two week positivity rate has been below 10% for three days now, dropping to its second lowest rate this month to 6.2%. The only day a smaller share of positive test results were returned was July 11 when the rate was just 5.6%.

The two week positivity rate is 8.8% and the one-week average just 8.4%.

Tuesday, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said the goal was to get that rate below 5%.

Pinellas also has more ICU capacity than Hillsborough with 14% of its adult beds available, or 41 of 250.

Pinellas County’s death toll remains higher than Hillsborough, despite having a much lower rate of infection. The county confirmed eight new deaths Tuesday for a total of 342. Over the past week, the county has confirmed 64 deaths, 19% of the county’s total deaths since the pandemic began.


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

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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