Pasco & Pinellas Coronavirus Update

Florida’s COVID-19 case numbers are climbing, as are new case positivity rates. For the week of July 16-22, the Florida Department of Health added 73,199 more cases to the tally, upping the state’s cumulative total since March to 2,479,975.

For the week of July 9-15, DOH reported 45,603 new cases, nearly twice as many as the 23,747 reported for the week of July 2-8. For the week of June 25-July 1, 15,978 new cases were reported and 11,873 during the week of June 18-24.

DOH reported a death toll of 38,670 — 282 more than the week of July 9-15. DOH reported 231 more deaths for July 9-15, 172 for July 2-8 and 213 for June 25-July 1.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transmission of COVID-19 in the state is high, up from substantial last week and moderate the week before. The rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 was up 106% compared to the week before and hospital admissions increased 53%. The rate of deaths increased 33%.

DOH reported a new case positivity rate statewide of 15.1% compared to 11.5% for the week of July 9-15 and 7.8% for 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 new cases positivity rate for the week climbed to 18.5% compared to 13.2% for July 9-15 and 7.9% reported the week of July 2-8. 

Pasco’s new case count went up by 1,636 for the week of July 16-22. Cases since March now total 46,341.

The case count more than doubled for the week of July 9-15, with 885 added to the tally 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. 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 121% increase in cases in the past seven days and a 110.6% increase in hospital admissions.

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate increased to 14.2% compared to 9.2% for the week of July 9-14 and 6.1% reported for 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 rose to 2,678, an average of 383.5 cases a day, for the week of July 16-22. The cumulative case total climbed to 85,554.

DOH reported 1,365 new cases for the week of July 9-15, more than twice the 569 new cases for July 2-8. DOH reported 393 new cases for June 25-July 1 and 347 new cases reported June 18-24. 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 high, up from substantial last week, with a 138% increase in cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions were up by 69%.

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/.

Bay Pines VA closed to visitors

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System sent out a notice July 23 that says it has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 positive patients seeking care at its hospital. The majority are unvaccinated individuals, the notice said.

Bay Pines has reinstated its policy of universal masking, physical distancing whenever possible and is encouraging all eligible persons to get vaccinated.

“It is critically important that as many people as possible get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” the notice says, adding that evidence shows that existing vaccines available in the United States are effective against known variants.

Bay Pines VA reminds veterans, staff and visitors at its facilities that regardless of vaccination status, masks are mandatory inside all buildings.

As of July 23, the hospital is closed to visitation and accompaniment of caregivers and escorts unless absolutely necessary and that person must have a visitor’s badge.

Vaccination rate up to 60%

The state’s vaccination rate for the week increased to 60% for ages 12 and older receiving at least one dose, up from 59% last week.

As of July 22, DOH reported that 11,469,756 Floridians had received a COVID-19 vaccination with 1,555,349 receiving a first-dose only and 9,914,406 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, 75% of ages 60-64, 66% of ages 50-59, 57% of ages 40-49, 47% of ages 30-39, 39% of ages 20-29 and 35% of ages 12-19.

In Pasco County, DOH reports that 264,420 had received at least one-dose of vaccine out of a population of 549,517, or 55%, the same percent as last week.

In Pinellas County, 518,437 had received at least one dose of vaccine out of a population of 992,298, or 58%, the same percent as 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 8:21 p.m. July 23, 34.4 million cases and 610,720 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 193.1 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.1 million deaths. In addition, more than 3.81 billion vaccine doses had been administered.