Another 161 COVID-19 cases were reported in Pinellas by Florida Department of Health on Wednesday, bringing the total to 2,684. In addition, three more residents have died due to the novel coronavirus. The death toll increased to 110.
So far this week, 499 new cases and eight deaths have been reported. For the week June 8-14, 659 new cases and seven deaths were reported. DOH reported 162 new cases on June 13, a new one-day high.
In comparison, DOH reported 286 new cases and 13 deaths in the county during the week, June 1-7, including 81 on June 5, the day the state moved into phase two of its recovery plans.
DOH reported 124 new cases and seven deaths from May 25-31, 151 new cases and eight deaths from May 18-24, 159 new cases and seven deaths from May 11-17, and 95 new cases and 19 deaths from May 4-10, which was the first week of phase one of the state’s recovery plan.
The county’s first two cases were reported on March 11, and the first death was confirmed on March 23.
Statewide, the cumulative number of cases increased to 82,719 with 3,018 deaths on Tuesday. Cases in the United States totaled 2,137,604 with 116,964 deaths. Globally, more than 8.2 million cases have been reported with 444,426 deaths.
COVID-19 cases in Pinellas include 2,629 residents and 55 non-residents. More cases were in females, 58%, to 42% in males. Ages range from 1-102. Median age was 45. The case count is growing in the age range of 25-34, as well as in blacks, which make up 25% of cases, and in Hispanics at 9% of cases.
DOH reported that 500 have been hospitalized in Pinellas since March, which includes 483 residents (eight more than Tuesday) and 17 nonresidents. About 19% people with confirmed cases have been hospitalized since March. This percentage has been decreasing in recent days.
Local hospitals reported nearly 26% available bed capacity on Wednesday with 15% capacity for adult ICU beds.
Testing in Pinellas
DOH reported on June 17 that 72,554 COVID-19 tests had been done in Pinellas, 513 more than the day before. DOH says an average of 3.7% of test results were positive, up from 3.6% on Tuesday, 3.4% on Monday, 3.3 on Sunday and 3.2% on Saturday.
According to the detail report released June 16, 136, or 6.6%, of 1,918 tests were positive from June 15. Twenty tests were inconclusive and results were pending for 54
A summary report for Pinellas shows 4.3% of tests from June 14 were positive, 5% from June 13, 3.1% from June 12, 3.8% from June 11, 4.6% from June 10, 3.1% from June 9, 1.6% of tests from June 8 and 2.9% of tests from June 7. The numbers do not include people that have previously tested positive.
For information on testing, contact your health provider, or call the state DOH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-779-6121 or the Pinellas County DOH’s hotline at 727-824-6900. Both numbers are available 24/7.
Case counts in local municipalities
DOH provided updated and revised information on the city of residence for 2,463 of the cases in Pinellas on Tuesday. St. Petersburg has the most with 1,243 cases (50%), 360 are Clearwater residents, 269 from Largo, 164 from Seminole, 124 from Pinellas Park, 96 from Palm Harbor, 46 from Tarpon Springs, 38 from Dunedin, 20 from Safety Harbor, 19 from Oldsmar, 17 from Clearwater Beach, 12 from Indian Rocks Beach, 10 from Gulfport, eight from South Pasadena and Kenneth City, five from Madeira Beach, three each from Belleair, Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs and North Redington Beach, two each from Bay Pines, Lealman, Crystal Beach and St. Pete Beach, and one each from Indian Shores, Treasure Island and Tierra Verde, and one listed as homeless.
Case numbers at long-term care facilities
Since March, 625 cases have been reported at long-term care facilities, or 25% of cases in the county.
At least one case has been reported at 73 of the county’s long-term care facilities as of June 14 with 316 cases in residents and 174 in staff at the facilities. The numbers do not reflect current infections.
DOH reported on June 14 that 86 cases had been reported by Gulf Shore Care Center, 76 cases by St. Petersburg Nursing and Rehab, 55 cases had been reported by Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, 35 by Carrington Place of St. Pete, 33 by Bon Secours Maria Manor Nursing Care Center in St. Petersburg, 25 by Freedom Square Health Care Center in Seminole, 20 by Grand Villa of St. Petersburg, 19 by Bardmoor Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Largo, 15 by North Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg , 14 by St. Mark Village nursing home in Palm Harbor, 13 by Marion and Bernard L. Samson Nursing Center in St. Petersburg, 10 by Health and Rehabilitation Centre at Dolphins View in South Pasadena and 10 by Patrick Manor in St. Petersburg. The rest had less than 10 cases.
These numbers are provisional and subject to change.
DOH reported on June 17 that three more county residents have died, bringing the death toll to 110. No further details were available.
At least 80 of the county’s 110 deaths were residents or staff at one of the county’s long-term care facilities. According to a weekly report from DOH released June 13, 26 deaths were from Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, including one staff member; 16 from Gulf Shore Care Center; 11 deaths from St. Mark Village; six from Freedom Square Rehabilitation & Nursing Services; five from Patrick Manor; three from St. Petersburg Nursing and Rehab; three from Health and Rehabilitation Centre at Dolphins View; and two from the Inn at Freedom Square.
In addition, one death each was reported at Bardmoor Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Bay Tree Center in Palm Harbor, Palm Garden in Clearwater, Palm Garden of Pinellas, Addington Place of East Lake in Tarpon Springs and Sable Palms Health Care Center in Largo. Note: Palm Garden in Clearwater tells Tampa Bay Newspapers it has no deaths.
DOH reported on June 16 that five women had died, including a 79-year-old, 96-year-old, 102-year-old, 80-year-old and 93-year-old.
District Six Medical Examiner’s office released two death reports on June 15 for two women who got sick at home and then died at a local hospital, including a 79-year-old woman who died June 13 and an 80-year-old woman who died June 12. In the report on the 80-year-old, it was noted that other family members had tested positive for COVID-19 and at least one relative was seriously ill.
DOH reported on June 12 that an 86-year-old woman had died, and on June 11 confirmed that a 65-year-old woman had died. The medical examiner’s office released seven death investigation reports the same day, including a 77-year-old man who died June 7, a 73-year-old man who died June 2, a 90-year-old woman who died June 9 and a 65-year-old woman who died June 10. All four were residents of Gulf Shore Care Center.
Local state of emergency extended
The Pinellas County Commission voted June 5 to extend the local state of emergency through June 19. Commissioners have lifted local restrictions at beaches, swimming pools and playgrounds; however, statewide orders remain in effect, which include social distancing, capacity and sanitation requirements. During a special meeting on June 11, commissioners discussed ways to get the message out to the public about the need to continue to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
Commissioners urge the public to wear cloth masks when in large groups and in enclosed public spaces. They also ask that people remember to use social distancing, wash their hands and continue good sanitation and hygiene measures.
Commissioners are scheduled to vote on extending the state of emergency until June 26 during a June 18 virtual meeting.
For more information, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.
State cases top 82,000 with 3,018 deaths
The number of confirmed cases in Florida residents was up to 80,676 on Wednesday. Another 2,043 cases were reported in non-residents, bringing the state’s total to 82,719— 2,610 more than the number reported on Tuesday.
The numbers are cumulative going back to March 4. DOH has not provided information on how many people have recovered.
The number of deaths in Florida increased to 3,018, which is 25 more than the number reported the day before.
DOH reports that 12,389 have been hospitalized statewide.
DOH reported on June 17 that 1,486,759 people had been tested statewide. DOH says 5.6% of results have been positive, which is up from 5.5% on Tuesday. The state reported that 5.4% had tested positive on June 14 and 15, and 5.3% had tested positive as of June 12. As of June 15, 988 tests were inconclusive and results were pending for 1,150.
Of the 82,719 cases, 2,303 were travel-related, 36,447 had contact with a confirmed case, 2,225 had travel and contact with a confirmed case and 30,719 were under investigation.
Statewide recovery plans
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced during a June 3 press conference that the state was moving into phase 2 of its recovery plan. Bars and pubs were allowed to reopen on June 5 with 50% indoor capacity and no restrictions on outdoor seating except to maintain social distancing. All customers must be seated to be served. The new rules do not apply to nightclubs, which remain closed.
Restaurants were allowed to seat customers at their bars as of June 5 and can continue to operate at 50% capacity.
DeSantis changed the rules to allow gatherings of up to 50 people, instead of 10.
Retail establishments and gyms were allowed to open at full capacity. In-store retail businesses, including gyms and fitness centers, must still adhere to social distancing guidelines keeping 6 feet apart. Sanitation protocols also are a requirement.
Entertainment venues, such as movie theaters, bowling alleys and concert halls, were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity.
In addition, the governor said other personal services could reopen, such as tattoo parlors, tanning, massage and acupuncture, but they must use Florida Department of Health guidance.
Pari-mutuel facilities were allowed to submit reopening plans. The state’s universities have until June 23 to submit reopening plans. The governor announced plans during a June 11 press conference to reopen schools in August.
Persons age 65 and older and those with underlying medical conditions are still urged to avoid crowds and exposure to COVID-19. The governor also urged others to be careful when interacting with those more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus virus.
In the written order, it says that all persons who work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis. Visitation by family and friends is still prohibited.
Governor attributes rising case numbers to testing
DeSantis held a press conference June 16. He said he has no plans to impose any new restrictions or require that people wear face masks. The state will not be shutting down or rolling back, he said.
DeSantis attributed the high numbers of new cases to an increase in what he called “surveillance testing.”
He said during most of the pandemic, the state had averaged 5%-10% in positive tests, dropping down to less than 3% before he started reopening things. Recently, the rate of positivity has been 4.9%.
DeSantis attributed that increase to not only more testing but also to the fact that testing was taking place in high risk environments, such as in agriculture/migrant workers, who live in close confines, and with construction workers that also are in close contact with one another.
More tests also are being done in jails and prisons, as well as long-term care facilities, both places where there is congregant living and a high risk of spread.
DeSantis still has no plans to allow visitation at long-term care facilities. He said that population needs to be protected. Staff is required to be tested every two weeks.
He also said he wouldn’t require the use of face masks “under the penalty of breaking the law;” however, he does recommend, and said that the CDC recommends, that people wear masks when they can’t social distance and when conducting “face-to-face business.”
He also pointed out that more of the positive tests were in the younger demographic and that there was no effect on the state’s hospital capacity.
National cases exceed 2.13 million with 116,964 deaths
According to information from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, posted at 11 a.m. Wednesday, cases of the coronavirus reported in the United States were up to 2,137,604 with 116,964 deaths compared to 2,114,180 with 116,130 deaths at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The number of global cases increased to 8,204,947 with 444,426 deaths compared to 8,063,488 with 437,532 deaths on Tuesday.
For more information on the coronavirus, visit www.floridahealth.gov/index.html.
Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: All information is subject to change.