Cases of COVID-19 rise in Tampa Bay as positivity rate dips

Covid Tampa 813

Cases of COVID-19 in Tampa Bay appear to be on the rise after a week of slow new case growth.

Hillsborough County confirmed 11,811 cases of COVID-19 on Aug. 20-26, according to the latest Florida Department of Health weekly report. That’s up from the week prior, which reported 11,161 cases from Aug. 13-19.

The report also shows a larger case growth compared to the week prior — that week saw only 241 more cases than the week before, while the latest report showed an increase of 650 cases between this week and the last.

The good news: the county’s positivity rate seems to be going down.

Hillsborough’s case positivity rate, which is the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive for cases not yet recorded, averaged 18.9% this past week, a notable decrease from the week before, with a reported rate of 22%.

Since the start of the pandemic, the county has seen 205,706 cases of COVID-19.

Despite the continued increase in cases, Hillsborough County is continuing to see a substantial decrease in vaccination rates.

In the last week, 11,804 people were vaccinated. That’s about 2,000 less than the week before, where the county saw 13,856 new vaccinations. The decrease follows a couple weeks of high vaccination numbers, averaging around 17,000 weekly.

After this week’s round of vaccinations, 62% of those eligible for a vaccine have recieved the shot in Hillsborough County. That eligibility accounts for the county’s 12 year and older population.

So far, 799,619 people have been vaccinated in the county.

Outside of Hillsborough’s COVID-19 data, the virus is draining some resources in the area.

On Thursday, Tampa Bay Water moved to temporarily change treatment at a facility servicing south Hillsborough because of a lack of liquid oxygen deliveries, which are being diverted to local hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.

In Pinellas County, there were more cases added as well. The county reported 6,790 new cases of COVID-19, slightly more than the previous week’s 6,271 reported cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, Pinellas has seen 114,284 cases of COVID-19.

This week, Pinellas County reported a positivity rate at 18%, down from last week’s 20.6%.

Pinellas County saw 6,779  vaccinations in the last week — less than that of the week prior, which recorded 7,949 vaccinations. Now, 64% of the vaccine-eligible population has been inoculated countywide.

So far, 569,502 people have received a shot in Pinellas County.

Over in Pasco County, 4,433 new cases were reported over the past week, compared to 4,223 new cases seen in the week before. The county saw a 21.2% average positivity rate, substantially down from 26.4% reported the week prior.

Pasco has seen 65,142 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

As far as vaccinations, Pasco is also following the trend; 62% of those eligible have received a shot, or 296,999 people. The county also reported 4,716 new vaccinations in the last week, about a thousand less than the week before, which reported 5,046 vaccinations.

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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