COVID-19 cases drop after a surge in Hillsborough last week

Pinellas County is also coming down from last week.

Hillsborough County confirmed 698 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, according to Florida Department of Health data released Tuesday. 

The nearly 700 new cases is a low after last week, which reported more than 1,000 daily cases five days. Since the start of the pandemic, the county has reported 88,217 cases.

Hillsborough County reported six additional hospitalizations, but no additional deaths in Tuesday’s report. The county’s death toll currently stands at 1,142.

Pinellas County is also coming down from last week.

In Tuesday’s report, the county confirmed 490 new cases after seeing a week of daily caseloads that ranged from 500 to 750. The new cases bring the county’s total caseload to 51,874 since the pandemic began.

Pinellas did report 26 new hospitalizations and three additional deaths, bringing the county’s death toll to 1,132.

Both counties are also reporting lower positivity rates.

Hillsborough’s daily positivity rate was down for the first time since last week’s spike, sitting at 10.02%. Last week, the positivity rate danced around 12-13%, with a peak last Tuesday at 15.77%.

Pinellas reported a positivity rate of 8.53%. This is one of only three times in the last two weeks the county has reported a rate lower than 10%.

The dips could represent a post-holiday slow down with last week’s spike resulting from family and social gatherings related to Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day. Though at 12 days since the New Year, there still remains the possibility more cases are yet to be uncovered. The rest of the week will show whether that spike has ended. The coming weeks will also show whether hospitalizations and deaths begin to spike, as both are lagging indicators of the cases themselves.

As far as vaccinations, both counties are already a week into rolling out vaccines for those 65 and older.

Pinellas County has so far vaccinated 29,078 individuals, and Hillsborough 28,984, according to the latest state vaccination report. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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