Pinellas County extends local state of emergency as Covid numbers fall
August 6, 2020 - The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to extend the local state of emergency through Aug. 14. The move allows the county to access federal funds and take other emergency actions to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, including keeping in force a county ordinance requiring face coverings and social distancing in public places. Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the Florida Department of Health-Pinellas County, told commissioners that there's been overall improvement over the last few weeks, with case counts averaging about 184 a day in the past week, compared to 220 to 230 cases a day in the previous week. The number of people who test positive for Covid-19 has been averaging about 6 percent over the past week, compared to 7 percent in the previous week, Choe said. Still, he warned against "Covid fatigue" and urged people not to become complacent. The local state of emergency has to be renewed every seven days, and Pinellas County commissioners declined to delegate their authority to extend that local state of emergency to the county administrator. The commission was scheduled to take two weeks off, but instead agreed to schedule a special meeting to consider future actions.