For the first time since cases started spiking again this fall and into the winter, and in an overall rare occurrence, Pinellas County reported more new cases of COVID-19 than neighboring Hillsborough County.
Pinellas tallied 532 cases from Monday morning to Tuesday morning, a number typically seen in the county across Tampa Bay. Pinellas County’s new cases shown in the Florida Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 updates typically sit in the 300 range.
Hillsborough, meanwhile, confirmed 519 new cases. Still, Pinellas’ tally is far less than in Hillsborough at 47,739 compared to 81,105.
But Pinellas County continues to grapple with harsher health outcomes for COVID-19 patients. There, an additional seven people were confirmed dead from the virus, bringing the total death toll to 1,086. That’s just seven fewer deaths than in Hillsborough despite a difference in the total caseload of about 37,000 cases. Hillsborough has so far tallied 81,105 cases since the onset of the pandemic in March.
Pinellas also saw 32 additional COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals Monday, while Hillsborough added just seven new hospitalizations.
Both counties are continuing to see troubling trends in the rate of positive tests returned. On Monday, Pinellas County’s positivity rate was 12.32%. The rate has been above 10%, a threshold that marks wide community spread, for six days straight and eight of the past nine days. It’s one-week average positivity now sits at just under 11%.
Likewise, Hillsborough County’s positivity rate was at 12.27% Monday and has been above 10%, also for six days straight and for nine of the past 10 days.