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Hillsborough County doubles daily case load as Pinellas County shows a drop in new cases

The two counties account for more than 9% of all Florida cases.

Hillsborough County more than doubled the number of new reported COVID-19 cases from Sunday to Monday, according to Florida Department of Health data released Tuesday.

The county added 456 new cases in Tuesday’s report, which covers data from Monday morning to Tuesday morning. The day prior, the county tallied 201 cases. That brings the county’s total case load to 58,749 cases since the pandemic began as of Tuesday morning.

The uptick in cases is attributable to both a higher positivity rate on Monday and more test results received. The county’s positive testing rate Monday was 8.99%, up from 6.19% Sunday. Hillsborough County received 4,566 test results Monday, up from 2,957 Sunday.

Increases from Sunday data to Monday are common as fewer tests are received over the weekend, however that trend didn’t hold in neighboring Pinellas County where both fewer tests and a smaller share of positive results were confirmed.

Pinellas County’s Monday positivity rate was 6.34%, down from 8.42% on Sunday. The county received results from 2,481 tests on Monday, down from 2,568 Sunday. It was the fifth straight day the county saw declining test results received.

Overall, Hillsborough County’s positivity rate remains higher than Pinellas on average. Over the last seven days, Hillsborough’s rate has been 7.29% while Pinellas County’s sits at just 5.75%. Both are above the 5% threshold some health experts say is the maximum for keeping certain services, such as schools, open. However both are below the more troubling 10% threshold that signals broad community spread.

Pinellas County’s new case load dropped Monday, with county adding just 188 new cases. That’s down from the 250 cases confirmed Sunday. Pinellas County has now confirmed 33,246 cases since the onset of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Pinellas County confirmed a concerning nine new deaths, bringing its death toll to 911. Hillsborough has lost more residents and visitors to the virus, 933, but added just one additional fatality to its total Monday.

Things might not be looking good for Pinellas County in terms of COVID-19 health outcomes. While Hillsborough County tallied just eight new hospitalizations due to the illness, Pinellas County added 14.

The latest numbers come as Florida became only the third state to surpass more than 1 million total cases. Hillsborough and Pinellas account for more than 9% of the state’s total COVID-19 cases.

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.

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