Things are looking up for the Tampa Bay community post-Thanksgiving week, with the number of reported COVID-19 cases below 1,000 and vaccines reaching more than 7,000 people in Hillsborough County this past week, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Health.
The most recent report, which covers Nov. 26 through Dec. 2, showed 736 new cases of COVID-19 in Hillsborough County, on trend with decreasing caseloads. Also a good sign is the county’s weekly positivity rate, which sat at 3.2%.
Since the start of the pandemic, Hillsborough County has reported 245,925 cases of COVID-19.
The county also recorded 7,180 new vaccinations in the last week, bringing the number of vaccinated Hillsborough County residents to 909,440, or 64%. That’s slightly lower than the percentage of people vaccinated statewide, which sits at 69%, or 14,418,089 individuals, according to the latest report.
Neighboring Pinellas County is also showing good signs — the county reported 420 new cases this past week, accompanied by a positivity rate of only 2.4%. The county has confirmed 136,141 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
The report also showed that 3,970 people in Pinellas County got vaccinated within the last week. With the addition of the newly vaccinated group, 621,951 people, or 65%, of Pinellas County have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
Pasco County showed similar indicators of slowing down the spread, with only 239 new weekly cases reported, and a positivity rate of 2.7%. So far, Pasco County has recorded 80,176 cases of COVID-19.
People are also still getting vaccinated at high rates in Pasco County, with 2,479 individuals getting the shot post-Thanksgiving week. The county has a vaccination rate of 63%, accounting for 330,544 people vaccinated.
Whether the new COVID-19 variant, omicron, leads to a second winter surge is to be seen.
Officials will likely be monitoring data more closely due to the emergence of the new omicron variant. So far, only a handful of omicron cases have been identified in the U.S., and none in Florida, though it’s likely the variant has reached the Sunshine State.