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Pinellas County’s cumulative total of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased to 3,438, according to the report released Saturday from the state Department of Health. The county’s death toll increased to 114.

Florida Department of Health reported yet another one-day high of COVID-19 cases in Pinellas on Saturday. The count grew by 285 to total 3,438. One more resident has died due to the novel coronavirus, upping the death toll to 114.

Since June 14, 1,253 new cases and 12 deaths have been reported in Pinellas. Saturday was the third consecutive day of record case counts. Friday was a record day with 266 cases, as was Thursday with 203 new cases.

In comparison, 659 new cases and seven deaths were reported from June 8-14. DOH reported 162 new cases on June 13, which at the time had been the one-day high. 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 93,797 with 3,144 deaths on Saturday. Cases in the United States totaled 2,223,668 with 119,158 deaths. Globally, nearly 8.7 million cases have been reported with 460,783 deaths.

Cases in Pinellas

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Charts on the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard provide data on ages, number of new cases by day and other county-specific details. This one is for Pinellas. Note: the median age on this graphic is in conflict with written information that shows the median age to be 42, which has been steadily decreasing as more cases are being reported in ages 25-34. The number hospitalized is for residents only.

COVID-19 cases in Pinellas include 3,378 residents and 60 non-residents. More cases were in females, 1,939, to 1,426 in males. Ages range from 1-102. Median age was 42. The median age has been declining daily as more cases are in ages 25-34.

On Saturday, DOH reported that 537 have been hospitalized in Pinellas since March, which included 495 residents (25 more than Thursday) and 17 nonresidents. About 14% of residents with confirmed cases have been hospitalized since March. The percentage of hospitalizations has been decreasing in recent days. However, an uptick has been observed at emergency rooms with people complaining of COVID-19 symptoms.

Local hospitals reported 29% available bed capacity on Saturday with nearly 18% capacity for adult ICU beds.

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The county specific report shows an uptick in people at local emergency rooms with COVID-19 symptoms.

Testing in Pinellas

The detail report from June 20 indicated that 73,468 tests had been done in Pinellas with an average rate of positive results at 5%. Twenty were inconclusive and 56 were pending.

The average positive rate has been steadily rising. The average rate on Sunday, June 14, was 3.3%.

According to the county specific report released June 20, 14.5% of 1,556 tests from June 19 were positive, 11.5% of 1,767 tests from June 18 were positive, 8.5% of 1,559 from June 17 were positive, 12.1% of 1,248 from June 16 were positive, 6.8%, of 1,898 from June 15 were positive, and 4.4% of 3,403 tests on June 14 were positive.

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 3,378 of the cases in Pinellas on Saturday. St. Petersburg has the most with 1,727 cases (51%), 509 are Clearwater residents, 346 from Largo, 211 from Seminole, 158 from Pinellas Park, 137 from Palm Harbor, 62 from Tarpon Springs, 52 from Dunedin, 28 from Safety Harbor, 27 from Oldsmar, 26 from Clearwater Beach, 13 each from Indian Rocks Beach and Gulfport, 11 from South Pasadena, nine from Kenneth City, eight from Madeira Beach, five from Belleair Beach, four from Crystal Beach, three each from Belleair, Belleair Bluffs and North Redington Beach, two each from Bay Pines, Lealman, St. Pete Beach, and Tierra Verde and one each from Indian Shores and Treasure Island, and 12 listed as missing and one as homeless.

Case numbers at long-term care facilities

Since March, 746 cases have been reported at long-term care facilities, or 22% of cases in the county.

At least one case has been reported at 77 of the county’s long-term care facilities as of June 17 with 315 cases in residents and 252 in staff at the facilities. The numbers do not reflect current infections.

DOH reported on June 16 that 84 cases had been reported by Gulf Shore Care Center, 76 cases by St. Petersburg Nursing and Rehab, 56 cases had been reported by Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, 53 by Bon Secours Maria Manor Nursing Care Center in St. Petersburg, 36 by Carrington Place of St. Pete, 25 by Freedom Square Health Care Center in Seminole, 21 by Grand Villa of St. Petersburg, 19 by Bardmoor Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Largo, 15 by North Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg and 16 by St. Mark Village nursing home in Palm Harbor. The rest had less than 16.

These numbers are provisional and subject to change.

COVID-19 deaths

DOH reported on June 20 that a 74-year-old man had died due to COVID-19, bringing the county’s death toll to 114.

At least 85 of the county’s 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 has not yet released a new report on deaths at long-term care facilities as of 2 p.m. Saturday.

DOH reported on June 19 that a 91-year-old woman had died due to COVID-19, bringing the death count to 113.

District Six Medical Examiner’s office released six death reports June 19, including a 96-year-old woman who died June 14, an 80-year-old woman who died June 15, and an 81-year-old man who died June 17. All were from Gulf Shore Care Center. Two others, an 85-year-old woman who died June 15 and a 91-year-old woman who died June 17 were from Bon Secours Maria Manor. The sixth was an 82-year-old woman who died June 18 from Westminster Shores in St. Petersburg.

DOH reported on June 18 that an 81-year-old man and 82-year-old woman had died, and on June 17 confirmed that three women had died, including a 65-year-old, 80-year-old and an 85-year-old.

On June 16, DOH confirmed the deaths of five women, including a 79-year-old, 96-year-old, 102-year-old, 80-year-old and 93-year-old.

The 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.

Commissioners to consider mandatory face masks

The Pinellas County Commission voted June 18 to extend the local state of emergency through June 26. Commissioners discussed possible measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the possibility for mandatory face masks and better enforcement of existing state orders on capacity in local restaurants and bars.

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.

The also decided not to hold an in-person meeting on June 23, but instead will continue to meet virtually. Public hearings have been canceled. They are expected to discuss the emergency ordinance on COVID-19 at that meeting.

For more information, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

DOH reports more than 4,000 new cases statewide

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Charts on the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard provide statewide information on ages, number of new cases by day and other details.

The number of confirmed cases in Florida residents was up to 91,670 on Saturday. Another 2,127 cases were reported in non-residents, bringing the state’s total to 93,797 — 4,049 more than the number reported on Friday.

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 3,144, which is 40 more than the number reported the day before.

DOH reports that 12,939 residents have been hospitalized statewide.

In the detail report it shows that 1,562,280 people had been tested statewide as of June 20 with 93,797, or 5.8%, of results coming back as positive.

An average of 5.8% of tests was positive on June 19, 5.7% on June 18, 5.6% on June 17 and 5.5% on June 16. The state reported that an average of 5.4% had tested positive on June 14 and 15, and 5.3% as of June 12.

Looking at daily results on the detail report, 14.09% of 29,545 tests on June 19 were positive, 11.66% of 30,768 tests on June 18, 10.72% of 28,837 tests on June 17 and 12.4% of 22,095 on June 16.

Of the 93,797 cases, 2,343 were travel-related, 39,860 had contact with a confirmed case, 2,278 had travel and contact with a confirmed case and 37,797 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 75% 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 2.22 million with 119,158 deaths

According to information from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, posted at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, cases of the coronavirus reported in the United States were up to 2,223,668 with 119,158 deaths compared to 2,205,307 with 118,758 deaths at 2:15 p.m. Friday. The number of global cases increased to 8,698,234 with 460,783 deaths compared to 8,550,458 with 456,881 deaths on Friday.

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 sporter@tbnweekly.com.

Note: All information is subject to change.

Corrected total case count for Pinellas.