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A rocky plateau: Hillsborough, Pinellas on second day of increasing COVID-19 cases

Pinellas County recorded 18 new deaths.

New COVID-19 are up again in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties for the second day in a row.

Hillsborough County confirmed 474 new cases in Thursday’s Florida Department of Health report, up from 445 confirmed the day prior.

Pinellas County reported 314 new cases Thursday, up from 202 Wednesday.

Still, the uptick is far from earlier this month when Hillsborough was reporting at or near 1,000 new cases a day and Pinellas was regularly seeing 500 or more cases daily.

Those previous spikes continue to show in new confirmed deaths, with Pinellas County adding 18 new deaths in Thursday’s report, bringing its total death toll to 418.

Hillsborough counted eight additional deaths in Thursday’s report. Of Hillsborough County’s 331 deaths, 16% have been reported in the last week. Pinellas County reported 13% of its total deaths in the past seven days.

Hospitalizations also continue to threaten capacity in both counties. Hillsborough added 34 new hospitalizations Wednesday. Its capacity in adult Intensive Care Units increased slightly from Tuesday to Wednesday, going from 6.5% capacity to 8.8%, but still only 35 of 362 beds remain available.

Pinellas County added 42 new hospitalizations Wednesday and has 37 of 258 adult ICU beds available, 12.5% of the county’s total capacity. That’s about the same as the day prior.

For the fourth day in a row Pinellas County’s positive test rate went up after several days of overall decline. The rate Wednesday was 8.3%, up from 8.1% Tuesday ad 7.3% Monday. The one-week and two-week average, however, remains below 10%.

Hillsborough’s seven day rolling average remains above 10% at 10.5%, but its Wednesday rate dropped to 9.4%.

Both counties also continue to see increases in new cases among children and young adults, many of them school-aged. Of Hillsborough County’s newly confirmed cases, 21.5% were among patients ages 0-24, up from 20% Tuesday. Those cases include 10 among patients ages 0-4, 28 among 5-14 year olds and 64 among patients between 15 and 24.

New Pinellas County COVID-19 cases included 17% of patients under 24, including five under age 4, 14 ages 5-14 and 35 ages 15-24.

Hillsborough County has now tallied 28,742 total COVID-19 cases; Pinellas County has 16,114.

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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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. BlueHeron

    July 31, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Thank you for keeping us informed. Very much appreciated.

    Since state testing is suspended until Tuesday, I wonder if DeSantis will be stupid
    enough to do a happy dance at the low positive cases reported in the coming 1-2 weeks.

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