With 18 more deaths, Pinellas County extends local state of emergency
July 30, 2020 - The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioner has extended the local state of emergency until Aug. 7. The move allows the county to access federal funds and take other emergency actions to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Commissioners voted unanimously for the measure after hearing an update from Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the Florida Department of Health-Pinellas County, who reported 18 additional deaths as of Thursday. A total of 418 people in Pinellas have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began. The county now has a total of 16,114 confirmed cases, an increase of 314 cases since Wednesday, according to health department statistics. The seven-day rolling average for new cases is 256 and the percent of people who test positive over the past seven days has dropped to 7 percent, which Choe said was an improvement over the past two weeks. Hospital capacity remains stable, he said. A combination of the county's face covering mandate, social distancing and the state order closing bars was attributed to the improvement. While the county is making positive strides and heading in the right direction, Choe also said there has been a slight uptick in the past few days that he is watching.