Cases, positivity rate back up in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties as COVID-19 deaths continue to mount

COVID-19 Tampa 813
After three days under 10%, Hillsborough's positive test rate is back up.

New cases inched up again in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties as the death toll in both counties continues to mount.

Hillsborough County confirmed 445 new cases in the Florida Department of Health’s Wednesday report covering cases from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning, 105 more cases than the county reported the day before. The county has now tallied 28,268 cases since the pandemic began.

Pinellas County recorded 259 new cases, up from 202 in Tuesday’s report.

Both counties also saw an uptick in positivity rates.

Hillsborough County climbed back above 10% Tuesday for the first time in four days. Despite three days of being slightly below 10%, the county’s seven-day rolling average remains at 11%.

Pinellas County hasn’t seen a positivity rate above 10% in more than two weeks, but its rate has gone up three days in a row from 4.9% Saturday to 5.9% Sunday, 7.4% Monday and 8.2% Tuesday. Still, both the one and two-week rolling averages are below 10%.

Hillsborough County confirmed 13 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, brining its death toll to 323. Pinellas County confirmed five new deaths, but still has a higher death toll than Hillsborough with 400 fatal cases. Its mortality rate remains at 2.5%, more than a point higher than both the state and Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County is facing a potential health care crisis, with its adult intensive care unity capacity shrinking to just 6.5% Wednesday, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. Only 25 of the county’s 361 beds remain available. Seven of the county’s 13 hospitals with ICU facilities are at capacity. That comes as the county tallied 28 new hospitalizations Tuesday.

Pinellas is doing better, but still running short on ICU capacity with less than 13% of its beds available. Four of 11 hospitals are at capacity.

In another concerning trend, 32 of the new cases tallied in Hillsborough Tuesday were among those ages 0-14. Another 57 cases were counted among adolescents and young adults 15-24. In all, 20% of Hillsborough’s new cases were among those 0-24, many of those school-aged children preparing to go back to school next month.

In Pinellas, 15% of its new cases were among patients aged 0-24 including 16 ages 0-14 and 24 among ages 15-24.


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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