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Pinellas County, St. Petersburg hit Covid-19 milestones

Margie Manning

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COVID-19

Pinellas County has recorded more than 25,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with more than 10,000 of those cases in the city of St. Petersburg.

The city and county exceeded those milestones over the weekend. As of Monday, Pinellas County has a cumulative total of 25,244 confirmed cases, an increase of 258 cases since Saturday. The city of St. Petersburg has a cumulative total of 10,065 cases as of Monday, up 93 cases since Saturday.

Since the start of October, there’s been an average of 127.6 newly confirmed cases each day, compared to an average of 75 cases a day in September.

Pinellas County officials are watching the rising number of cases locally, regionally and nationally, Barry Burton, county administrator, told the Board of County Commissioners at its most recent meeting on Oct. 20.

“With the increase in cases there is a lag in terms of severe outcomes including hospitalizations and deaths. It’s something we’re watching closely,” Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the Florida Department of Health-Pinellas County, told commissioners.

There have not been any additional deaths since Saturday. The total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 in Pinellas County stands at 816 as of Monday.

In Pinellas County on Monday, there were 127 people hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of Covid, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The county’s acute-care hospitals have a combined available capacity of 29.6 percent.

The positivity rate, or the percentage of people who take a test and are positive for Covid-19, also has been rising. The current rolling two-week average, from Oct. 12 to Oct. 25,  is at 4.99 percent. That’s just under the 5 percent rate that some public health officials say should be a threshold for potential restrictions, although state and federal reopening guidelines cite a 10 percent threshold for imposing restrictions.

In the previous two weeks, from Sept. 28 to Oct. 11, the rolling two-week positivity rate averaged 3.48 in Pinellas County.

A list of Covid-19 test sites in Pinellas County is available here.

A state of local emergency remains in place in Pinellas County through 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30.

The extension keeps in effect a county ordinance that requires face coverings in public places. Under the ordinance, restaurants and bars can only serve only patrons who are seated.

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