Here’s a quick snapshot of the current spread of COVID-19 throughout Florida and Tampa Bay.
COVID-19 is still infecting thousands across the state.
The Florida Department of Health reported on Tuesday that there were 2,251 new COVID-19 cases and 59 additional coronavirus-related deaths. This latest data brings the state’s total number of infected since March up to 720,125 people. Florida has now had 14,945 people die from COVID-19.
If you zoom in, the Florida Department of Health reported there were 418 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday in Tampa Bay and four coronavirus-related deaths in the area. Breaking that up by county shows Pinellas County has two deaths, Hernando and Citrus have one each and there were no deaths in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco or Polk counties.
It’s also important to note that deaths are not always reported immediately. Sometimes the cause of death will be reported up to two weeks later, which does lead to delayed representations of where the community is currently at.
Hillsborough County has had a large percentage of the infections since March. If you add Tuesday’s data, there have now been 43,166 cases and 674 deaths in Hillsborough. Pinellas is the second-largest with 22,603 cases and 772 deaths. Polk follows closely behind with 20,587 cases and 534 deaths.
Then there is a large decline. Manatee County’s latest numbers show there have been 11,848 cases and 298 deaths. Pasco has had 9,538 cases and 211 deaths. Hernando has had 3,259 cases and 139 deaths. Citrus has had the smallest impact of all with 2,863 cases and 112 deaths.
The number most local leaders and medical experts have been studiously watching has been the rate of hospitalizations in the region. As of Tuesday afternoon, approximately 25 percent of the hospital beds in the state were available. ICUs across the state have 24 percent of their beds open.
The number is a little lower in Tampa Bay with only approximately 21 percent of hospital beds open and 16 percent of ICU beds available.
On Tuesday, Florida added 237 hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Of these, 59 were reported admissions in Tampa Bay. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 2,146 people in the hospital due to coronavirus. Here in Tampa Bay, 463 patients are admitted with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. The state has now had 45,519 people hospitalized for COVID-19 since March.
There is still debate over the best way to measure the positivity rate of the state. The Florida Department of Health does not use positive retests in its calculation of positivity rates, so without accounting for all of those tests it has recorded a weekly average positivity rate of 4.43 percent.
That method, many argue, is not an accurate snapshot. Johns Hopkins University has been supplying the public with its analysis as well. The University includes retests and announced Tuesday morning the state’s positivity rate was 10.97 percent.
According to the World Health Organization, a region has to have a positive rate of 5 percent or lower for a span of a minimum of two weeks before it should consider reopening.