COVID-19 cases number 21,701 in Pinellas with 736 deaths
Skyline of St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg, Florida
Pinellas County’s COVID-19 case count grew by 81 on Sept. 23.

Pinellas County’s COVID-19 case count grew by 81 on Sept. 23, bringing the total to 21,701. Florida Department of Health also reported that seven more residents have died due to the novel coronavirus, upping the death toll to 736.

Since Sept. 21, 203 new cases have been reported and 15 deaths.

From Sept. 14-20, DOH reported 576 new COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths, which was an increase in the case count compared to the two prior weeks. From Sept. 7-13, 497 cases and 29 deaths were reported.

Statewide, the cumulative number of cases increased to 690,499 with 13,618 deaths. Cases in the United States totaled 6,911,844 with 201,253 deaths. Globally, more than 31.7 million cases have been reported with 972,895 deaths.

COVID-19 cases in Pinellas include 21,552 residents and 149 non-residents. More cases were in females, 11,650 (54%), to 9,900 in males. Gender was unknown in two. Ages range from 0-105. Median age was 43. Nineteen percent were Black, and 12% were Hispanic.

About 10% of all cases in the county have been hospitalized since March. DOH reported that 2,234 residents and 23 non-residents had been hospitalized in Pinellas.

Local hospitals had 27% capacity in staffed adult beds (867 of 3,176) on Wednesday with 20% capacity (60 of 297) in ICU beds. All 11 hospitals had at least one ICU bed available except St. Petersburg General. According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, as of 10:30 a.m. Sept. 22, 107 beds were occupied by a COVID-19 patient with 26 in ICU and 12 on a ventilator.

Case counts had been trending downward

From Sept. 7-13, 497 cases and 29 deaths were reported. The case count was a decrease compared to the prior week, but an increase from Aug. 24-30. The death count was higher than the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 6.

From Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 537 cases and 22 deaths were reported. It was the first time the weekly case count increased since Aug. 24-30. The increase may be due in part to the Aug. 31 data dump by Quest Diagnostics of almost 75,000 test results dating back to April. The state severed all ties with Quest because it failed to follow the state’s law and report results of COVID-19 tests in a timely manner.

From Aug. 24-30, 457 cases and 59 deaths were reported. It was the sixth consecutive week DOH reported fewer cases compared to the week before. Eight more deaths occurred; however, Aug. 30 was the first date that no deaths were reported in the county since Aug. 10.

From Aug. 17-23, 669 cases were reported and 51 deaths. It was the fifth consecutive week that fewer cases were reported than the week before; however, three more deaths occurred than last week.

From Aug. 10-16, 815 COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths were reported. It was the fourth consecutive week that the case count decreased and the first time since June 8-14 that less than 1,000 cases had been reported in one week. In addition, it was the second week that fewer deaths were reported compared to the week before.

From Aug. 3-9, 1,069 new cases were reported and 61 deaths. It was the third consecutive week that the case count decreased and the lowest weekly case count since June 15-21.

From July 27-Aug. 2, 1,627 new cases and 66 deaths were reported. It was the second consecutive week that the number of daily cases reported had gone down. From July 20-26, 1,675 new cases were reported and 59 deaths, which had been the lowest weekly case count since June 22-28.

Case counts surged as Florida initiated recovery plan

DOH reported 95 new cases and 19 deaths from May 4-10, which was the first week of phase one of the state’s recovery plan. Pinellas had 159 new cases and seven deaths from May 11-17, 151 new cases and eight deaths from May 18-24, and 124 new cases and seven deaths from May 25-31.

DOH reported 286 new cases and 13 deaths during the week, June 1-7, including 81 on June 5, the day the state moved into phase two of its recovery plans.

From June 8-14, 659 new cases and seven deaths were reported. DOH reported 162 new cases on June 13, which at the time had been the one-day high.

From June 15-21, 1,332 new cases and 13 deaths were reported in Pinellas. June 20 was the third consecutive day of record case counts that week with 285. June 19 was a record day with 266 cases, as was June 18 with 203 new cases.

For the week of June 22-28, 2,353 new cases and 40 deaths were reported. Three record-high days occurred with 614 new cases on June 27, 430 on June 26 and 354 on June 23.

Pinellas County enacted a mandatory face mask order for indoor places on June 24 and the state closed bars not licensed to sell food on June 26. The goal was to help control community spread of the virus.

From June 29-July 5, DOH reported 2,513 new cases and 43 deaths, and 2,353 new cases. From July 6-12, 2,312 cases were reported and 33 deaths. From July 13-19, 2,638 cases were reported and 85 deaths — the most new cases and deaths in any seven-day period so far. Pinellas set a new second-highest one-day case count on July 13, adding 598. July 9 with 431 new cases and July 10 with 467 had been the previous second-highest one-day count records.

The county’s first two cases were reported on March 11, and the first death was confirmed on March 23.

Testing in Pinellas

According to testing information on the county specific report, 3.60% of 2,461 test results on Sept. 22 were positive, 3.66% of 1,894 results on Sept. 21, 3.94% of 1,586 on Sept. 20, 2.82% of 2,208 on Sept. 19, 2.48% of 3,606 on Sept. 18, 2.78% of 4,087 on Sept. 17, 2.98% of 3,673 results on Sept. 16, 2.48% of 2,946 on Sept. 15, 3.19% of 3,277 results on Sept. 14, 3.60% of 2,038 on Sept. 13, 2.27% of 2,500 on Sept. 12, 2.45% of 3,418 on Sept. 11, 4.97% of 2,866 on Sept. 10, 3.71% of 1,996 on Sept. 9, 3.89% of 1,631 on Sept. 8, 2.70% of 1,875 on Sept. 7, 3.09% of 1,785 on Sept. 6, 3.12% of 2,456 on Sept. 5, 3.53% of 2,760 on Sept. 4, 2.5% of 3,472 on Sept. 3, 3.81% of 2,673 on Sept. 2 and 2.30% of 2,384 on Sept. 1.

DOH reported that 215,479 tests have been done in Pinellas since March, and as of Sept. 22, the average rate of positive results was 10%, compared to 10.02% on Sept. 21, 10.03% on Sept. 20-19, 10.05% on Sept. 18, 10.07% on Sept. 17-16, 10.08% on Sept. 15, 10.10% on Sept. 14, 10.11% on Sept. 13-12, 10.12% on Sept. 11, 10.14% on Sept. 10, 10.12% on Sept. 9-7, 10.13% on Sept. 6-5, and 10.14% on Sept. 4-1. Results were pending for nine and 139 tests were inconclusive.

The percent is the number of people who test positive the first time divided by all people tested that day, excluding people who have previously tested positive.

As of Sept. 20, 1,464, or 10.3%, of 14,178 tests of those younger than 18 in Pinellas were positive. Statewide, 56,140, or 13.7% of 409,532 tests were positive.

For information on testing, contact your health provider, or call the state DOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-779-6121 or the Pinellas County DOH’s hotline at 727-824-6900. Both numbers are available 24/7. For online information, visit

Cases in Pinellas County schools

The Pinellas County School District reported on Sept. 23 that as of Sept. 22 one more employee had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at Ozona Elementary School. There was no impact to any classrooms or buses.

The district reported on Sept. 22 that as of Sept. 21 five more students and one employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

One student attended North Shore Elementary School in St. Petersburg. One partial classroom and two partial buses were affected. One student attended Richard O. Jacobsen High School in Seminole and no classrooms were impacted. One student attended Clearwater Fundamental High School and three partial classrooms were impacted.

One student attended Hollins High School in St. Petersburg and a small group of students were affected. One student attended Countryside High School and five partial classrooms were affected. The employee worked at Pinellas Park Middle School. No classrooms were impacted.

The district reported on Sept. 21 that as of Sept. 18, three more students and two employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

One student attended Oldsmar Elementary and one classroom was affected. Two students attended Westgate Elementary School in St. Petersburg and one partial classroom was impacted. One employee worked at Garrison-Jones Elementary School in Dunedin and one classroom was affected. One employee worked at East Lake High School, and no classrooms were impacted.

For more information, visit

Case counts in local municipalities

DOH provided updated and revised information on the city of residence for cases in Pinellas on Wednesday. St. Petersburg has the most with 8,794 cases, 4,281 are Clearwater residents, 2,255 from Largo, 1,237 from Palm Harbor, 1,090 from Pinellas Park, 1,045 from Seminole, 668 from Tarpon Springs, 540 from Dunedin, 392 from Oldsmar, 291 from Safety Harbor, 148 from Clearwater Beach, 139 from Gulfport, 128 from Kenneth City, 111 from South Pasadena, 68 from Indian Rocks Beach, 38 from Belleair, 34 from Madeira Beach, 25 from Belleair Beach, 22 from Crystal Beach, 16 from Tierra Verde, 16 from St. Pete Beach, 14 from Bay Pines, 14 from North Redington Beach, 11 from Treasure Island, four from Belleair Bluffs and Redington Shores, three from Indian Shores, Ozona and Lealman, two from Redington Beach, one listed as homeless and 153 as missing.

Case numbers at long-term care facilities

Since March, 3,843 cases have been reported at long-term care facilities, or 18% of cases in the county. Carrington Place (64 beds) and Countryside Rehab and Health Care Center (120 beds) are designated COVID-19 isolation Centers.

At least one case has been reported at 91 of the county’s long-term care facilities as of Sept. 20 with 839 cases in residents and 297 in staff at the facilities. The numbers do not reflect current infections.

The state’s emergency rules requiring biweekly testing at staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities expired Sept. 13. Nursing homes must continue staff testing under federal rules.

As of Sept. 20, 91 cases were reported by Lexington Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg, 77 by Carrington Place of St. Pete, 71 cases by Countryside Rehab and Healthcare Center in Palm Harbor, 69 by Jacaranda Manor in St. Petersburg, 65 by Boca Ciega Center in Gulfport, 60 by Abbey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 51 by Gulf Shore Care Center and 50 by The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay. The rest had fewer than 50.

COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities

At least 512 of the county’s deaths were residents or staff at one of the county’s long-term care facilities. Pinellas is No. 3 in the state with reporting 9% of deaths at these facilities. Dade County is No. 1 with 782 deaths, or 14%, and Palm Beach County is No. 2 with 568 deaths, or 10%.

According to a weekly report from DOH released Sept 14, the facilities with the most deaths included 28 reported by Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, including one staff member; 25 by Countryside Rehab and Healthcare; 25 by Bon Secours Maria Manor Nursing Care Center; 25 by Jacaranda Manor, including two under investigation; 23 by Gulf Shore Care Center; 18 by Oak Manor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center; 18 by Peninsula Care and Rehabilitation Center, including two under investigation; 17 by Apollo Health and Rehabilitation Center; 13 by Boca Ciega Center; 11 deaths by St. Mark Village; and 10 by Lexington Health and Rehabilitation Center, including one under investigation.

DOH has not released a weekly report on deaths at long-term care facilities since Sept. 14.

COVID-19 deaths countywide

DOH reported seven more COVID-19 related deaths on Sept. 23, including three women ages 91, 89 and 84 and four men ages 79, 76, 71 and 36. The death toll rose to 736.

Pinellas is tied with St. Lucie County for the fifth highest death rate in the state at 3.4%. Charlotte County has the highest at 4.4%. Highlands County is No. 2 with a rate of 3.9%. Hernando is at No. 3 with a death rate of 3.8%. Indian River County is No. 4 with a rate of 3.7%.

In Pinellas, one death has been reported in the 15-24 age group, three deaths in the 25-34 age group, six in the 35-44 group (1%), 19 in 45-54 (3%), 61 in 55-64 (8%), 144 in 65-74 (20%), 227 in 75-84 (31%) and 275 (38%) in ages 85 and up.

DOH reported on Sept. 22 that a 64-year-old man had died due to COVID-19. DOH reported seven deaths in Pinellas on Sept. 21, including four women ages 89, 84, 65 and 60, and three men ages 82, 75 and 66. No new deaths were reported on Sept. 20.

DOH reported the death of an 84-year-old man due to COVID-19 on Sept. 19. DOH reported five deaths on Sept. 18, including three women age 89 and one age 60 plus one man aged 69. DOH reported the death of a 77-year-old man on Sept. 17.

DOH reported four deaths on Sept. 16, including three women ages 105, 79 and 72, and one man age 64. DOH reported nine deaths in Pinellas on Sept. 15, including three women ages 96, 85 and 77, and six men ages 91, 80, 79, 76, 67 and 61. No new deaths were reported on Sept. 13 or 14.

DOH reported three deaths on Sept. 12, including a 74-year-old woman and two men, ages 74 and 66. DOH reported the death of an 85-year-old woman on Sept. 11 and four deaths were reported on Sept. 10, including two women ages 97 and 92, and two men ages 83 and 80.

DOH reported 15 deaths on Sept. 9, including nine women and five men. Among the dead were two women age 91 and seven others ages 94, 90, 88, 83, 80, 73 and 67. Two 84-year-old and two 64-year-old men were on the list plus two more ages 74 and 55.

DOH reported five COVID-19 related deaths on Sept. 8. The dead included an 87-year-old woman and four men, ages 94, 93, 76 and 67. DOH reported one COVID-19 related death on Sept. 7, a 73-year-old man. DOH reported the death of a 97-year-old woman on Sept. 6.

DOH reported on Sept. 5 that a 94-year-old woman and 88-year-old man had died due to COVID-19. No new deaths were reported on Sept. 4. DOH reported four deaths on Sept. 3, including two women ages 101 and 79, and two men ages 93 and 81.

DOH reported the deaths of two women age 93 and 83 on Sept. 2. DOH reported five deaths on Sept. 1, including two women ages 93 and 85, and three men ages 99, 86 and 82.

Local state of emergency, face mask order

The Pinellas County Commission voted unanimously Sept. 22 to extend the local state of emergency through Friday, Oct. 2.

The countywide ordinance requiring that face masks be worn in indoor public places when social distancing is not possible remains in effect. The ordinance says that retail employees must wear face coverings unless in an area that is not open to the public with social distancing measures in place.

Restaurants and staff at bars can only serve people who are seated. Social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained. Staff also must wear face masks when preparing or serving food or beverages indoors and outdoors. Customers do not have to wear masks while eating or drinking. No congregating at the bars or any area is allowed.

The ordinance includes a number of exemptions for those that might not be able to wear face masks; however, private businesses do not have to allow for those exemptions.

Chief medical officers at four of the county’s health care facilities spoke during the meeting about the effectiveness of face masks and social distancing. They all recommended that the ordinance remain in place, especially with the upcoming flu season.

Commissioners also voted to delegate authority to the county administrator to approve future extensions on the local state of emergency, which must be done every seven days per state law.

For more information on the county’s response to the coronavirus, visit

Statewide cases top 690,000 with 13,618 deaths

The number of confirmed cases in Florida residents was up to 682,370 on Wednesday. Another 8,129 cases were reported in non-residents, bringing the total to 690,499 — 2,590 more than the day before.

The numbers are cumulative going back to March 4. DOH has not provided information on how many people have recovered.

The number of deaths in Florida increased to 13,618 deaths, which is 202 more than the number reported on Tuesday. DOH also reported that 164 non-Florida residents have died.

DOH reports that 42,543 residents have been hospitalized statewide, which is 398 more than the number reported on Tuesday. No information was available about non-residents.

Testing statewide

Looking at daily results, 5.30% of 46,889 test results on Sept. 22 were positive, 5.88% of 38,696 results on Sept. 21, 4.36% of 37,297 on Sept. 20, 4.64% of 52,580 on Sept. 19, 4.54% of 75,915 on Sept. 18, 4.18% of 74,174 on Sept. 17, 4.46% of 70,940 on Sept. 16, 4.47% of 50,010 on Sept. 15, 4.22% of 61,228 on Sept. 14, 3.91% of 44,959 on Sept. 13, 4.26% of 54,602 on Sept. 12, 4.44% of 69,417 on Sept. 11, 5.53% of 63,740 on Sept. 10, 5.54% of 44,077 on Sept. 9, 5.94% of 37,231 results on Sept. 8, 4.96% of 35,080 results on Sept. 7, 4.55% of 39,589 on Sept. 6, 5.06% of 49,288 on Sept. 5, 5.99% of 59,181 results on Sept. 4, 5.10% of 60,642 from Sept. 3, 6.23% of 54,875 from Sept. 2 and 5.63% of 43,196 results from Sept. 1.

DOH reported results of 5,150,485 cumulative tests done statewide with 13.41% coming back as positive as of Sept. 22, compared to 13.38% on Sept. 21, 13.39% on Sept. 20, 13,40% on Sept. 19, 13.42% on Sept. 18, 13.43% on Sept. 17, 13.44% on Sept. 16, 13.45% on Sept. 15, 13.44% on Sept. 14, 13.45% on Sept. 13, 13.47% on Sept. 12, 13.48% on Sept. 11-6, 13.5% on Sept. 5, 13.7% on Sept. 4, 13.49% on Sept. 3 and 13.48% on Sept. 2-1. Results were inconclusive for 7,145. The number pending was unavailable.

National cases pass 6.9 million with 201,253 deaths

According to information from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, posted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, cases of the coronavirus reported in the United States were up to 6,911,844 with 201,253 deaths compared to 6,861,211 with 199,962 deaths at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The number of global cases increased to 31,713,913 with 972,895 deaths compared 31,375,796 with 965,742 deaths on Tuesday.

For more information on the coronavirus, visit

Suzette Porter


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