Pasco & Pinellas Coronavirus Update

Florida made the national news July 16 when a White House official said nearly 20% of new COVID-19 cases were occurring in Florida.

According to a story by The Hill, White House COVID-19 coordinator told reporters during a briefing Friday that, “Just four states accounted for more than 40 percent of all cases in the past week, with 1 in 5 of all cases occurring in Florida alone."

Florida Department of Health released its latest report on July 16 with numbers for the week of July 9-15. The state’s case count nearly doubled, going from 23,747 for the week of July 2-8 to 45,603, upping the cumulative total since March 2020 to 2,406,809.

For the week of June 25-July 1, 15,978 new cases were reported and 11,873 during the week of June 18-24.

Florida’s death toll climbed to 38,388, which is 231 more than the week of July 2-8 when 172 deaths were confirmed. The week of June 25-July 1, DOH reported 213 deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transmission of COVID-19 in the state is substantial, up from moderate last week. The rate of new COVID-19 cases was up 61% and hospital admissions increased 31%. The rate of deaths decreased 12%.

The new case positivity rate statewide climbed to 11.5% compared to 7.8% for the week of July 2-8. The state’s positivity rate has been steadily rising. DOH reported a positivity rate for new cases at 5.2% for June 25-July 1, 3.8% for the week of June 18-24, 3.3% for June 11-17 and 3.4% for June 4-10.

In Pasco County, the positivity rate for the week was 13.2%, an increase from 7.9% reported the week of July 2-8. Pasco County’s rate also has been climbing with a rate of 4.9% for June 25-July 1, 4.2% for June 18-24, 3.9% for June 11-17 and 5.2% for June 4-10.

Pasco’s new case count more than doubled going to 885 for the week of July 9-15, compared to 394 new cases for the week of July 2-8. DOH reported 272 new cases for June 25-July 1 and 235 cases reported June 18-24. Cases since March total 44,705. DOH reported 201 new cases June 11-17 and 333 for June 4-10.

According to the CDC, the transmission rate for Pasco is high with a 48% increase in cases in the past seven days and a 21% increase in hospital admissions.

In Pinellas County, the positivity rate increased to 9.2% compared to 6.1% reported for the week of July 2-8. DOH reported a positivity rate for new cases in Pinellas at 3.7% for June 25-July 1, 3% for June 18-24, 2.7% for June 11-17 and 2.3% for June 4-10.

Pinellas County’s new case count also more than doubled with DOH reporting 1,365 more for the week of July 9-15. DOH reported 569 new cases for July 2-8, up from 393 new cases for June 25-July 1 and 347 new cases reported June 18-24. The cumulative case total climbed to 82,880. DOH reported 323 new cases for June 11-17 and 301 new cases for June 4-10.

The CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is substantial with a 45% increase in cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions were less than 1%.

Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton updated county commissioners on COVID-19 during a July 13 meeting. He said the average seven-day count for new cases was rising as was the positivity rate. He urged residents to get vaccinated. He said although the vaccine is not 100% effective, it does help lessen the severity of the illness.

He said the vaccine is available for free at most pharmacies and other clinics. He also said it was

safe and asked that anyone with questions talk to their health care provider.

Burton said new cases were most prevalent among ages 30-39 and 20-29 and the unvaccinated.

He noted that the Delta variant was now the most prevalent. It is very contagious and spreading throughout the nation, he said.

DOH ended its daily reports of COVID-19 activity on June 2 and removed the dashboard that provided a detailed account of cases, deaths, testing and other information since March 2020.

DOH no longer provides the number of new deaths by county. As of June 2, deaths in Pasco totaled 802 and 1,671 in Pinellas.

For more information about COVID-19 in Pasco, visit https://www.pascocountyfl.net/4146/Coronavirus-Information-Pasco-County-Ope.

Information about COVID in Pinellas is available at https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

Vaccination rate up to 59%

The state’s vaccination rate for the week increased to 59% for ages 12 and older, up from 58% last week.

As of July 15, DOH reported that 11,292,335 Floridians had received a COVID-19 vaccination with 1,512,318 receiving a first-dose only and 9,780,017 completing the one- or two-shot series.

According to the DOH, 84% of those 65 and older had completed the one- or two-shot series, 74% of ages 60-64, 65% of ages 50-59, 56% of ages 40-49, 46% of ages 30-39, 38% of ages 20-29 and 33% of ages 12-19.

In Pasco County, DOH reports that 260,990 had been vaccinated out of a population of 549,517, or 55%, up from 54% last week.

In Pinellas County, 512,925 had been vaccinated out of a population of 992,298, or 58%, also up 1% from last week.

United States and global numbers

Johns Hopkins University of Medicine still maintains a COVID-19 dashboard providing information on national and worldwide cases and deaths. As of 2:22 p.m. July 17, 34 million cases and 608,869 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 189.8 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.07 million deaths. In addition, more than 3.59 billion vaccine doses had been administered.