covid-update-web.jpg

Pinellas County’s cumulative total of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is up to 22,004, according to the report released Sunday from the state Department of Health. The county’s death toll stands at 744.

Florida Department of Health reported only 40 new COVID-19 cases in Pinellas on Sept. 27, but it was enough to push the total to 22,004. For the first time this week, no deaths were reported. The toll stands at 744.

From Sept. 21-27, 506 new cases were reported and 23 deaths, which was a decrease in cases but an increase in deaths.

From Sept. 14-20, DOH reported 576 new COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths, which was an increase in the case count compared to the two prior weeks. From Sept. 7-13, 497 cases and 29 deaths were reported.

Statewide, the cumulative number of cases increased to 700,564 with 14,202 deaths. Cases in the United States totaled 7,084,523 with 204,527 deaths. Globally, more than 32.9 million cases have been reported with 994,940 deaths.

COVID-19 cases in Pinellas include 21,853 residents and 151 non-residents. More cases were in females, 11,800 (54%), to 10,046 in males. Gender was unknown in seven. Ages range from 0-105. Median age was 43. Nineteen percent were Black, and 12% were Hispanic.

doh-chart-pinellas-9-27-am.jpg

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. The number hospitalized is for residents only.

About 10% of all cases in the county have been hospitalized since March. DOH reported that 2,270 residents and 23 non-residents had been hospitalized in Pinellas.

Local hospitals had 35% capacity in staffed adult beds (1,140 of 3,258) on Sunday with 21% capacity (62 of 289) in ICU beds. All 11 hospitals had at least one ICU bed available except AdventHealth North Pinellas and Northside. According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, as of 10:30 a.m. Sept. 25, 107 beds were occupied by a COVID-19 patient with 19 in ICU and 11 on a ventilator.

Case counts had been trending downward

From Sept. 7-13, 497 cases and 29 deaths were reported. The case count was a decrease compared to the prior week, but an increase from Aug. 24-30. The death count was higher than the week of Aug. 31-Sept. 6.

From Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 537 cases and 22 deaths were reported. It was the first time the weekly case count increased since Aug. 24-30. The increase may be due in part to the Aug. 31 data dump by Quest Diagnostics of almost 75,000 test results dating back to April. The state severed all ties with Quest because it failed to follow the state’s law and report results of COVID-19 tests in a timely manner.

From Aug. 24-30, 457 cases and 59 deaths were reported. It was the sixth consecutive week DOH reported fewer cases compared to the week before. Eight more deaths occurred; however, Aug. 30 was the first date that no deaths were reported in the county since Aug. 10.

From Aug. 17-23, 669 cases were reported and 51 deaths. It was the fifth consecutive week that fewer cases were reported than the week before; however, three more deaths occurred than last week.

From Aug. 10-16, 815 COVID-19 cases and 48 deaths were reported. It was the fourth consecutive week that the case count decreased and the first time since June 8-14 that less than 1,000 cases had been reported in one week. In addition, it was the second week that fewer deaths were reported compared to the week before.

From Aug. 3-9, 1,069 new cases were reported and 61 deaths. It was the third consecutive week that the case count decreased and the lowest weekly case count since June 15-21.

From July 27-Aug. 2, 1,627 new cases and 66 deaths were reported. It was the second consecutive week that the number of daily cases reported had gone down. From July 20-26, 1,675 new cases were reported and 59 deaths, which had been the lowest weekly case count since June 22-28.

Case counts surged as Florida initiated recovery plan

DOH reported 95 new cases and 19 deaths from May 4-10, which was the first week of phase one of the state’s recovery plan. Pinellas had 159 new cases and seven deaths from May 11-17, 151 new cases and eight deaths from May 18-24, and 124 new cases and seven deaths from May 25-31.

DOH reported 286 new cases and 13 deaths during the week, June 1-7, including 81 on June 5, the day the state moved into phase two of its recovery plans.

bcc-pinellas-0927.jpg

Pinellas County’s website shows a graph of COVID-19 cases reported since March.

From June 8-14, 659 new cases and seven deaths were reported. DOH reported 162 new cases on June 13, which at the time had been the one-day high.

From June 15-21, 1,332 new cases and 13 deaths were reported in Pinellas. June 20 was the third consecutive day of record case counts that week with 285. June 19 was a record day with 266 cases, as was June 18 with 203 new cases.

For the week of June 22-28, 2,353 new cases and 40 deaths were reported. Three record-high days occurred with 614 new cases on June 27, 430 on June 26 and 354 on June 23.

Pinellas County enacted a mandatory face mask order for indoor places on June 24 and the state closed bars not licensed to sell food on June 26. The goal was to help control community spread of the virus.

From June 29-July 5, DOH reported 2,513 new cases and 43 deaths, and 2,353 new cases. From July 6-12, 2,312 cases were reported and 33 deaths. From July 13-19, 2,638 cases were reported and 85 deaths — the most new cases and deaths in any seven-day period so far. Pinellas set a new second highest one-day case count on July 13, adding 598. July 9 with 431 new cases and July 10 with 467 had been the previous second highest one-day count records.

The county’s first two cases were reported on March 11, and the first death was confirmed on March 23.

Testing in Pinellas

According to testing information on the county specific report, 2.10% of 2,000 test results on Sept. 26 were positive, 4.05% of 2,869 test results on Sept. 25 were positive, 2.81% of 2,942 results on Sept. 24, 2.93% of 2,452 on Sept. 23, 3.60% of 2,461 on Sept. 22, 3.66% of 1,894 on Sept. 21, 3.94% of 1,586 on Sept. 20, 2.82% of 2,208 on Sept. 19, 2.48% of 3,606 on Sept. 18, 2.78% of 4,087 on Sept. 17, 2.98% of 3,673 results on Sept. 16, 2.48% of 2,946 on Sept. 15, 3.19% of 3,277 results on Sept. 14, 3.60% of 2,038 on Sept. 13, 2.27% of 2,500 on Sept. 12, 2.45% of 3,418 on Sept. 11, 4.97% of 2,866 on Sept. 10, 3.71% of 1,996 on Sept. 9, 3.89% of 1,631 on Sept. 8, 2.70% of 1,875 on Sept. 7, 3.09% of 1,785 on Sept. 6, 3.12% of 2,456 on Sept. 5, 3.53% of 2,760 on Sept. 4, 2.5% of 3,472 on Sept. 3, 3.81% of 2,673 on Sept. 2 and 2.30% of 2,384 on Sept. 1.

DOH reported that 219,631 tests have been done in Pinellas since March, and as of Sept. 26, the average rate of positive results was 9.95%%, compared to 9.97% on Sept. 25, 9.98% on Sept. 24, 9.99% on Sept. 23, 10% on Sept. 22, 10.02% on Sept. 21, 10.03% on Sept. 20-19, 10.05% on Sept. 18, 10.07% on Sept. 17-16, 10.08% on Sept. 15, 10.10% on Sept. 14, 10.11% on Sept. 13-12, 10.12% on Sept. 11, 10.14% on Sept. 10, 10.12% on Sept. 9-7, 10.13% on Sept. 6-5, and 10.14% on Sept. 4-1. Results were pending for nine and 137 tests were inconclusive.

The percent is the number of people who test positive the first time divided by all people tested that day, excluding people who have previously tested positive.

As of Sept. 25, 1,516, or 10.2%, of 14,857 tests of those younger than 18 in Pinellas were positive. Statewide, 57,547, or 13.4% of 428,859 tests were 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. For online information, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/testing/.

Cases in Pinellas County schools

The Pinellas County School District reported on Sept. 25 that as of Sept. 24 one more student and two employees had tested positive for COVID-19.

The student attended Tarpon Springs High School. Seven partial classrooms were affected and the football team.

No impact was reported from either employee. One worked at Garrison-Jones Elementary School and the other at Walter Pownall Service Center.

The district reported on Sept. 24 that as of Sept. 23 six more students and one employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

Two students attended East Lake High School. Thirteen partial classrooms and two partial buses were affected. One student attended Osceola Fundamental High School and six partial classrooms were impacted.

Two students attended Belleair Elementary and one attended Kings Highway Elementary School in Clearwater. The district said there was no impact to classrooms or buses.

The employee worked at Plato Academy charter school in Palm Harbor and the school initiated a closure.

The district reported on Sept. 23 that as of Sept. 22 one more employee had tested positive for COVID-19. The employee worked at Ozona Elementary School. There was no impact to any classrooms or buses.

The district reported on Sept. 22 that as of Sept. 21 five more students and one employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

One student attended North Shore Elementary School in St. Petersburg. One partial classroom and two partial buses were affected. One student attended Richard O. Jacobsen High School in Seminole and no classrooms were impacted. One student attended Clearwater Fundamental High School and three partial classrooms were impacted.

One student attended Hollins High School in St. Petersburg and a small group of students were affected. One student attended Countryside High School and five partial classrooms were affected. The employee worked at Pinellas Park Middle School. No classrooms were impact.

For more information, visit https://www.pcsb.org/COVID19Cases.

Case counts in local municipalities

DOH provided updated and revised information on the city of residence for cases in Pinellas on Sunday. St. Petersburg has the most with 8,908 cases, 4,339 are Clearwater residents, 2,286 from Largo, 1,262 from Palm Harbor, 1,096 from Pinellas Park, 1,067 from Seminole, 676 from Tarpon Springs, 550 from Dunedin, 403 from Oldsmar, 292 from Safety Harbor, 151 from Clearwater Beach, 142 from Gulfport, 128 from Kenneth City, 113 from South Pasadena, 70 from Indian Rocks Beach, 41 from Belleair, 34 from Madeira Beach, 25 from Belleair Beach, 22 from Crystal Beach, 16 from Tierra Verde, 16 from St. Pete Beach, 14 from Bay Pines, 14 from North Redington Beach, 11 from Treasure Island, four from Belleair Bluffs and Redington Shores, three from Indian Shores, Ozona and Lealman, two from Redington Beach, one listed as homeless and 155 as missing.

Cases and deaths at long-term care facilities

Since March, 3,861 cases have been reported at long-term care facilities, or 18% of cases in the county. Carrington Place (64 beds) and Countryside Rehab and Health Care Center (120 beds) are designated COVID-19 isolation Centers.

The state’s emergency rules requiring biweekly testing at staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities expired Sept. 13. Nursing homes must continue staff testing under federal rules.

At least 518 of the county’s deaths were residents or staff at one of the county’s long-term care facilities. Pinellas is No. 3 in the state with reporting 9% of deaths at these facilities. Dade County is No. 1 with 795 deaths, or 14%, and Palm Beach County is No. 2 with 585 deaths, or 10%.

DOH has not released its weekly report of deaths at long-term care facilities since Sept. 13.

COVID-19 deaths countywide

No new deaths were reported in the county on Sept. 27. The death toll stands at 744.

Pinellas is tied with St. Lucie County for the sixth highest death rate in the state at 3.4%. Charlotte County has the highest at 4.5%. Highlands is No. 2 with a rate of 4%. Hernando is No. 3 with a rate of 3.9%. Citrus County is No. 4 with a rate of 3.8% and Indian River County is No. 5 spot with a rate of 3.6%. St. Lucie County has fifth highest rate in the state at 3.5%.

In Pinellas, one death has been reported in the 15-24 age group, three deaths in the 25-34 age group, six in the 35-44 group (1%), 19 in 45-54 (3%), 62 in 55-64 (8%), 144 in 65-74 (19%), 231 in 75-84 (31%) and 278 (37%) in ages 85 and up.

DOH reported two COVID-19 related deaths in Pinellas on Sept. 26. Both were women ages 102 and 96. DOH reported three deaths on Sept. 25, including two women ages 94 and 83, and one man age 75. DOH reported three deaths on Sept. 24. All were men ages 81, 77 and 63. DOH reported seven deaths on Sept. 23, including three women ages 91, 89 and 84 and four men ages 79, 76, 71 and 36.

DOH reported on Sept. 22 that a 64-year-old man had died due to COVID-19. DOH reported seven deaths in Pinellas on Sept. 21, including four women ages 89, 84, 65 and 60, and three men ages 82, 75 and 66. No new deaths were reported on Sept. 20.

DOH reported the death of an 84-year-old man due to COVID-19 on Sept. 19. DOH reported five deaths on Sept. 18, including three women age 89 and one age 60 plus one man age 69. DOH reported the death of a 77-year-old man on Sept. 17.

DOH reported four deaths on Sept. 16, including three women ages 105, 79 and 72, and one man age 64. DOH reported nine deaths in Pinellas on Sept. 15, including three women ages 96, 85 and 77, and six men ages 91, 80, 79, 76, 67 and 61. No new deaths were reported on Sept. 13 or 14.

DOH reported three deaths on Sept. 12, including a 74-year-old woman and two men, ages 74 and 66. DOH reported the death of an 85-year-old woman on Sept. 11 and four deaths were reported on Sept. 10, including two women ages 97 and 92, and two men ages 83 and 80.

DOH reported 15 deaths on Sept. 9, including nine women and five men. Among the dead were two women age 91 and seven others ages 94, 90, 88, 83, 80, 73 and 67. Two 84-year-old and two 64-year-old men were on the list plus two more ages 74 and 55.

DOH reported five COVID-19 related deaths on Sept. 8. The dead included an 87-year-old woman and four men, ages 94, 93, 76 and 67. DOH reported one COVID-19 related death on Sept. 7, a 73-year-old man. DOH reported the death of a 97-year-old woman on Sept. 6.

DOH reported on Sept. 5 that a 94-year-old woman and 88-year-old man had died due to COVID-19. No new deaths were reported on Sept. 4. DOH reported four deaths on Sept. 3, including two women ages 101 and 79, and two men ages 93 and 81.

DOH reported the deaths of two women age 93 and 83 on Sept. 2. DOH reported five deaths on Sept. 1, including two women ages 93 and 85, and three men ages 99, 86 and 82.

Local state of emergency, face mask order

The Pinellas County Commission voted unanimously Sept. 22 to extend the local state of emergency through Friday, Oct. 2.

The countywide ordinance requiring that face masks be worn in indoor public places when social distancing is not possible remains in effect. The ordinance says that retail employees must wear face coverings unless in an area that is not open to the public with social distancing measures in place.

Restaurants and staff at bars can only serve people who are seated. Social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained. Staff also must wear face masks when preparing or serving food or beverages indoors and outdoors. Customers do not have to wear masks while eating or drinking. No congregating at the bars or any area is allowed.

The ordinance includes a number of exemptions for those that might not be able to wear a face masks; however, private businesses do not have to allow for those exemptions.

Chief medical officers at four of the county’s health care facilities spoke during the meeting about the effectiveness of face masks and social distancing. They all recommended that the ordinance remain in place, especially with upcoming flu season.

Commissioners also voted to delegate authority to the county administrator to approve future extensions on the local state of emergency, which must be done every seven days per state law.

For more information on the county’s response to the coronavirus, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

Statewide cases top 700,000 with 14,202 deaths

The number of confirmed cases in Florida residents was up to 692,234 on Sunday. Another 8,330 cases were reported in non-residents, bringing the total to 700,564 — 1,882 more than the day before.

doh-chart-state-9-27-am.jpg

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 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 residents increased to 14,032, which is 10 more than the number reported on Saturday. DOH also reported that 170 non-residents have died, which is two more than the day before, bringing the state’s death toll to 14,202.

DOH reports that 43,533 residents have been hospitalized statewide, which is 64 more than the number reported on Friday. No information was available about non-residents.

Testing statewide

Looking at daily results, 4.08% of 43,958 test results on Sept. 26 were positive, 4.15% of 64,465 results on Sept. 25, 4.29% of 63,653 on Sept. 24, 4.45% of 56,243 results, 5.30% of 46,889 on Sept. 22, 5.88% of 38,696 on Sept. 21, 4.36% of 37,297 on Sept. 20, 4.64% of 52,580 on Sept. 19, 4.54% of 75,915 on Sept. 18, 4.18% of 74,174 on Sept. 17, 4.46% of 70,940 on Sept. 16, 4.47% of 50,010 on Sept. 15, 4.22% of 61,228 on Sept. 14, 3.91% of 44,959 on Sept. 13, 4.26% of 54,602 on Sept. 12, 4.44% of 69,417 on Sept. 11, 5.53% of 63,740 on Sept. 10, 5.54% of 44,077 on Sept. 9, 5.94% of 37,231 results on Sept. 8, 4.96% of 35,080 results on Sept. 7, 4.55% of 39,589 on Sept. 6, 5.06% of 49,288 on Sept. 5, 5.99% of 59,181 results on Sept. 4, 5.10% of 60,642 from Sept. 3, 6.23% of 54,875 from Sept. 2 and 5.63% of 43,196 results from Sept. 1.

DOH reported results of 5,260,602 cumulative tests done statewide on residents and nonresidents with 13.32% coming back as positive as of Sept. 26, compared to 13.33% on Sept. 25, 13.35% on Sept. 24, 13.36% on Sept. 23, 13.41% on Sept. 22, 13.38% on Sept. 21, 13.39% on Sept. 20, 13,40% on Sept. 19, 13.42% on Sept. 18, 13.43% on Sept. 17, 13.44% on Sept. 16, 13.45% on Sept. 15, 13.44% on Sept. 14, 13.45% on Sept. 13, 13.47% on Sept. 12, 13.48% on Sept. 11-6, 13.5% on Sept. 5, 13.7% on Sept. 4, 13.49% on Sept. 3 and 13.48% on Sept. 2-1. Results were inconclusive for 7,161. The number pending was unavailable.

National cases pass 7 million with 204,527 deaths

According to information from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, posted at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, cases of the coronavirus reported in the United States were up to 7,084,523 with 204,527 deaths compared 7,048,285 with 204,026 deaths at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The number of global cases increased to 32,903,140 with 994,940 deaths compared 32,636,842 with 990,298 deaths on Saturday.

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 numbers are provisional and subject to change.