Tampa Bay sees slight rise in COVID-19 cases as holidays approach

Covid Tampa 813
Despite the rise, cases overall remain low.

The Tampa Bay community is seeing a slight rise in COVID-19 cases, with the weekly report showing over 1,000 cases in Hillsborough County, despite remaining below that number for the last couple weeks, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Health.

The most recent report, which covers Dec. 10 through Dec. 16, showed 1,363 new cases of COVID-19 in Hillsborough County, trending upwards from only 850 weekly cases in the week prior. The county’s weekly positivity rate also rose to 4.3%, up from last week’s 3% positivity rate.

Since the start of the pandemic, Hillsborough County has reported 248,113 cases of COVID-19.

The county also recorded 6,259 new vaccinations in the last week, bringing the number of vaccinated Hillsborough County residents to 925,875, or 65%. The week prior, the county reported 7,596 vaccinations.

The county’s vaccination rate is slightly lower than the percentage of people vaccinated statewide, which sits at 70%, or 14,647,710 individuals, according to the latest report.

Neighboring Pinellas County is showing lower increases, reporting 573 new cases this past week, accompanied by a positivity rate of only 2.8%. That’s only slightly up from the 536 reported in the week prior.

The county has confirmed 137,219 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The report also showed that 3,578 people in Pinellas County got vaccinated within the last week. With the addition of the newly vaccinated group, 630,343 people, or 66%, of Pinellas County have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pasco County reported 412 new weekly cases reported, and a positivity rate of 4.1%, up from 311 cases reported in the county the week before. So far, Pasco County has recorded 80,859 cases of COVID-19.

People are also still getting vaccinated at high rates in Pasco County, with 1,965 individuals getting the shot post-Thanksgiving week. The county has a vaccination rate of 64%, accounting for 335,683 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

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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