CDC test kit pic.jpg

The federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is issuing this laboratory kit for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. CDC tests are provided to U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense laboratories and select international laboratories.

TALLAHASSEE — Pasco County’s confirmed number of coronavirus cases increased by 14 since Friday, March 27, making 35 the total number of county residents diagnosed with the illness as of March 29.

However, the number went up in an area no one wanted it to and went down in an area no one wanted it to.

The Florida Department of Health announced March 27 a 67-year-old Pasco County male became the second in the county to succumb to COVID-19.

The man’s case was first confirmed to the Department of Health on March 14 and was categorized as “travel related” as he had travels that included New York, the state now reporting the most cases in the nation. The Department of Health report also says the man had been in contact with a confirmed case.

Melissa Watts, public information officer for DOH-Pasco, said the department is “expressing our condolences to the person’s family” and is continuing its work with the state DOH and community partners “to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The Department of Health has now announced the county’s first confirmed case in a teenager. According to the report, the 18-year-old female’s case is not “travel related.” The teen, however, had been in contact with a confirmed case, the public health agency said.

The report does not state whether the teen was a student in an area school. The teen’s positive test result was received March 28, but Pasco schools have been closed since March 14. The usual cited figure for incubation time of the novel coronavirus is five to 14 days.

The county now has had confirmed 34 more cases since it its first case, announced on March 11.

Of the 53 Florida counties reporting confirmed cases, Pasco County ranks 21st, reporting 1 percent of Florida’s total case load of 4,950.

The rise of reported cases is not considered surprising, as the number of tests being performed has doubled since March 26, when the reported number of tests was 457. The DOH’s latest report of March 29 shows a total number of 801 tests had been administered in Pasco County and so fa had shown 675 negative results and one inconclusive.

Pasco’s total number of confirmed cases now includes 16 males and 19 females, with 19 of those being “travel related” and seven requiring hospitalizations. The age range is from 18 to 75.

Seven Pasco cities and the number of cases they are reporting adding March 27 and March 28 are: Land O’Lakes, 10 (+4); New Port Richey, 5 (+4); Dade City 5 (+2); Wesley Chapel 5, (+1); Trinity, 2 (+1); Holiday, 2 (+1), Zephryhills, 1 (no change); Hudson, 1 (no change); and Port Richey, 1 (no change).

The portion of the Lutz area in Pasco County has now made that list, reporting one confirmed case.

The site of a case is not always received as part of the initial notification and may not be reflected on the list while the case is being investigated.

Pinellas County, saw its fatality count increase from two to five over the two-day period, saw its positive case numbers double from 54 positive cases to 116, 70 males and 46 females, with ages ranging from 15 to 83. Sixty-six of those cases are categorized as “travel-related” and the number of hospitalizations have increased from 20 to 36 St. Petersburg reports the number of its confirmed cases has doubled to 24. Clearwater is reporting a total of 23 (+9) while Largo reports 20 (+8).

Polk County’s numbers rose from 20 to 46, 22 males and 24 females ranging in age from 8 to 88. Sixteen are considered “travel-related.” The number of hospitalizations are up from 11 to 16. Davenport remains the Polk city with the most reported cases adding four new cases making a total of 16. No deaths have been reported.

Hernando County’s case count has risen from nine to 20, seven males and 13 females, ranging in ages from 19 to 85. Five cases are considered “travel-related” and the hospitalization count remains two.

Spring Hill still has reported the most recorded Hernando cases increasing from six to 13. Brooksville’s case count rose from three to five. No deaths have been reported.

On Sunday, March 29, President Donald Trump announced the social distancing guidelines that have stopped many businesses, especially restaurants, from doing business as usual, forced the closing of school campuses, and prevented church congregations from assembling in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, have been extended through April 30.