Despite Mondays typically showing a drop in new COVID-19 data sets, the Florida Department of Health data released shows both Hillsborough and Pinellas County didn’t slow much in new cases or confirmed deaths.
Hillsborough County showed 323 new cases from Sunday morning to Monday morning, down from highs late last week around 500, but still high for a Monday report. Similarly, Pinellas County reported 303 new cases, a number on par with last week on days that typically see higher numbers of new cases than Monday’s reports, which cover data confirmed over the weekend.
Hillsborough County has now logged 61,599 cases since the onset of the pandemic while Pinellas County has tallied 35,202 cases.
Both counties saw a troubling new death toll, with Hillsborough County confirming the deaths of seven individuals related to the pandemic and Pinellas County confirming five. Hillsborough County’s death toll now sits at 967 while Pinellas’ is at 930.
In better news, Hillsborough County recorded its lowest positivity rate in at least two weeks on Sunday, at 6.03%, down from 8.28% on Saturday. Still, the county’s rolling 7-day positivity rate is on a steady climb. For the past week, the county’s rate of new positive tests was 7.68%. One week ago that rate was 7.2%. The county logged its highest rate on Nov. 30 when it was at 9.07%.
Pinellas is seeing a similar climb. Sunday’s positivity rate was at 7.05%, up from 6.19% Saturday. It’s one-week average is now 6.11%, up from 5.67% one week ago.
The numbers are concerning mayors on both sides of Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman unveiled a new initiative aimed at raising public awareness for utilizing social distancing and mask wearing called “Race to Safe” while Tampa Mayor Jane Castor launched the “Choose your Mask” campaign highlighting the choice between a face mask or a ventilator.