Hillsborough, Pinellas set post-summer spike records for COVID-19 positivity

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Hillsborough's weekly averaged exceeded 10% while Pinellas posted its highest rate since the summer.

For the first time since the summer spike, Hillsborough County’s seven-day rolling average of tests coming back positive was above 10%.

With a 13.31% positivity rate Sunday, the county’s seven-day average is now 10.01%.

However, only 2,730 tests were received Sunday, according to the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 released Monday, the lowest number in at least two weeks. A drop in test results was expected as fewer patients sought testing over the holiday weekend.

Despite the high positivity rate, which often goes up when fewer tests are administered, Hillsborough County’s total caseload increased less than some days in the past two weeks when positivity rates were lower. The county tallied 420 new cases from Sunday morning to Monday morning.

While that was lower than some previous days, it was an uptick following a post Christmas lull.

Among Florida residents only on just Sunday, 419 tested positive in Hillsborough County. That’s a tick back upward from the day after Christmas when 351 resident tests came back positive and from 407 on Christmas Day. Christmas Eve saw a staggering 690 positive resident tests returned.

Hillsborough has now tallied 74,788 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The county confirmed six additional deaths Sunday, brining its death toll to 1,064.

Pinellas County saw similar trends with 270 new cases confirmed from Sunday morning to Monday morning. Among residents on Sunday only, 277 new cases were tallied, a number that shows there might have been some data reconfiguration. That’s up from 220 cases the day after Christmas, 254 on Christmas Day and down from 522 on Christmas Eve. Pinellas County’s pandemic-wide total is now 43,480.

Like Hillsborough, Pinellas saw record positivity rates in new tests returned. The county’s 12.61% rate Sunday was the first time the rate has ticked above 10% since the summer spike. However, Pinellas County’s seven-day rolling average has yet to hit 10% and now stands at 7.98%. Also like Hillsborough, few tests were received Sunday, just 1,919.

Pinellas County confirmed six additional deaths Sunday, brining its death toll to 1,035.

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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