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Pinellas County’s cumulative total of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is up to 23,161, according to the report released Sunday from the state Department of Health. The county’s death toll increased to 782.

Due to a problem with lab results, Florida Department of Health reported two days of data on Oct. 11. Pinellas County’s COVID-19 case count grew by 251, bringing the total to 23,161. Two more residents have died due to the novel coronavirus, upping the death toll to 782.

From Oct. 5-11, 652 cases and 19 deaths were reported in Pinellas. The death count was the same as last week, but the case count increased significantly.

Oct. 5-11 was the first time since the week of Aug. 17-23 that more than 600 new cases were reported in one week. DOH reported 669 new cases that week and 51 deaths. Oct. 8 was the first time since Sept. 26 that more than 100 new cases were reported in a single day. DOH reported 125 on Oct. 8 and 119 new cases on Sept. 26.

For the first time in months, no daily reports were released on Oct. 10. DOH announced late that afternoon that the reports would be delayed until Oct. 11.

According to a press release, DOH received approximately 400,000 previously-reported COVID-19 test results from Helix Laboratory – a private lab that is not affiliated with the state of Florida.

Officials say the massive size of the data file and the need to de-duplicate hundreds of thousands of results prevented DOH’s automatic reporting system from processing results. State epidemiologists were working to reconcile the data, which officials say would take a day to finish.

While the report released Oct. 11 showed combined numbers for Oct. 9-10, the Data and Surveillance Dashboard graphic did show numbers of new cases for each of those days. Pinellas had 84 new cases on Oct. 9 and 169 on Oct. 10, which was the first time more than 160 new cases were reported in one day since Aug. 4 when DOH reported 161 new cases.

Statewide, the cumulative number of cases increased to 734,491 with 15,552 deaths on Oct. 11. Cases in the United States totaled 7,742,279 with 214,388 deaths. Globally, more than 37.3 million cases have been reported with over 1 million deaths.

COVID-19 cases in Pinellas included 22,999 residents and 162 non-residents. More cases were in females, 12,390 (54%), to 10,606 in males. Gender was unknown in three. Ages range from 0-105. Median age was 43. Eighteen percent were Black, and 12% were Hispanic.

About 10% of all cases in the county have been hospitalized since March. DOH reported that 2,373 residents and 23 non-residents had been hospitalized 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. The number hospitalized is for residents only.

Local hospitals had 34.5% capacity in staffed adult beds (1,251 of 3,617) on Sunday with 22% capacity (66 of 302) in ICU beds. Two of 11 hospitals reported zero capacity in ICU beds, AdventHealth North Pinellas and Northside. According to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, as of 10:30 a.m. Oct. 9, 97 beds were occupied by a COVID-19 patient with 21 in ICU and 14 on a ventilator.

Case counts and deaths continue to climb

From Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 505 new cases were reported and 19 deaths — down one case from the week prior with four fewer deaths. From Sept. 21-27, 506 new cases were reported and 23 deaths, which was a decrease in cases but an increase in deaths from the previous week.

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. 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 had 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.

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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

DOH reported on Oct. 11 that 3.22% of 5,083 test results on Oct. 10 were positive and 16.31% of 431 results on Oct. 9; however, due to the data dump of previously reported lab results, which prevented normal processing of results on Oct. 9, the state says the most accurate way to interpret percent positivity for those two days is to average them. The two-day average of results from Oct. 9-10 was 4.39%.

Previous results in October showed 3.23% of 2,847 test results on Oct. 8 were positive, 4.01% of 3,065 results on Oct. 7, 3.95% of 2,309 on Oct. 6, 3.25% of 1,908 on Oct. 5, 2.83% of 1,479 on Oct. 4, 2.91% of 2,302 on Oct. 3, 4.48% of 2,194 on Oct. 2 and 2.47% of 3,235 on Oct. 1.

DOH reported that 232,484 tests have been done in Pinellas in since March, and as of Oct. 10, the average rate of positive results was 9.89%, compared to N/A on Oct. 9, 9.85% on Oct. 8, 9.86% on Oct. 7-6, 9.87% on Oct. 5, 9.88% on Oct. 4, 9.90% on Oct. 3 and 9.91%, on Oct. 2-1. Results were inconclusive for 150. DOH is no longer reporting the number pending.

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 Oct. 7, 1,615, or 9.9%, of 16,256 tests of those younger than 18 in Pinellas were positive. Statewide, 60,545, or 12.9% of 468,363 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

Pinellas County Schools released its Oct. 8 report on Oct. 10, which showed that six more students and one employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee worked at Discovery Academy of Science Charter School. One classroom was impacted.

Three students attended Osceola Middle School and six partial classrooms, as well as the junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams were affected. One student attended Oak Grove Middle School in Clearwater and four partial classrooms and one partial bus were affected.

One student attended Clearwater Fundamental Middle School and seven partial classrooms were impacted. One student attended San Jose Elementary School in Dunedin. There was no impact to classrooms or buses.

The District reported on Oct. 7 that as of Oct. 8, eleven more students and two employees had tested positive.

Both employees worked at Walter Pownall Service Center. There was no impact to classrooms or buses.

Three students attended St. Petersburg High School and 11 partial classrooms as well as the varsity volleyball team were affected. Two students attended Osceola Fundamental High School and six partial classrooms were impacted.

One student attended Curtis Fundamental Elementary School in Dunedin and one partial classroom was affected. One student attended Tarpon Springs High School and five partial classrooms were impacted.

One student attended Meadowlawn Middle School in St. Petersburg. Seven partial classrooms were affected. One student attended Northeast High School in St. Petersburg and 1 classroom and six partial classrooms were impacted. One student attended Pinellas Park High School. No impact to buses or classrooms.

The district released the Oct. 6 COVID-19 report on Oct. 7. Five students and one employee had tested positive.

The employee worked at Dunedin Elementary school. There was no impact to classrooms or buses.

One student attended High Point Elementary School and one classroom was affected. One student attended Dunedin Middle School and six partial classrooms were affected.

One student attended Palm Harbor High School and seven partial classrooms were impacted. One student attended East Lake High School and seven partial classrooms were affected. One student attended St. Petersburg High School and three partial classrooms were impacted.

The district reported on Oct. 6 COVID-19 activities from Oct. 3-5. Four more students and one employee have tested positive.

The employee worked at Osceola Middle School in Seminole and there was no impact to classrooms or buses.

One student attended Oakhurst Elementary School in Largo and one classroom was affected. One student attended Walsingham Elementary in Largo and two classrooms were affected. One student attended Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg and five partial classrooms affected.

The fourth student attended St. Petersburg Collegiate Charter High School south campus, and the school initiated closure of that school.

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, Oct. 11. St. Petersburg has the most with 9,268 cases, 4,572 are Clearwater residents, 2,389 from Largo, 1,353 from Palm Harbor, 1,159 from Pinellas Park, 1,145 from Seminole, 727 from Tarpon Springs, 601 from Dunedin, 427 from Oldsmar, 308 from Safety Harbor, 159 from Clearwater Beach, 150 from Gulfport, 131 from Kenneth City, 117 from South Pasadena, 77 from Indian Rocks Beach, 48 from Belleair, 38 from Madeira Beach, 28 from Belleair Beach, 25 from Crystal Beach, 19 from St. Pete Beach, 18 from Tierra Verde, 15 from North Redington Beach, 15 from Bay Pines, 12 from Treasure Island, four from Belleair Bluffs and Redington Shores, three from Indian Shores, Ozona, Lealman and Redington Beach, one listed as homeless and 178 as missing.

Cases and deaths at long-term care facilities

Since March, 3,965 cases have been reported at long-term care facilities, or 17% 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 543 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 822 deaths, or 13%, and Palm Beach County is No. 2 with 646 deaths, or 10%.

According to a weekly report from DOH released Oct. 7, as of Oct. 2, 29 deaths had been reported by Countryside Rehab and Healthcare Center; 28 deaths by Freedom Square Seminole Nursing Pavilion, including one staff member; 26 by Bon Secours Maria Manor Nursing Care Center; 25 by Jacaranda Manor, including two under investigation; 23 by Gulf Shore Care Center; 20 by Oak Manor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center; 20 by Peninsula Care and Rehabilitation Center, including three under investigation; 17 by Apollo Health and Rehabilitation Center; 13 by Boca Ciega Center; 12 by Abbey Rehabilitation and Nursing Center; and 11 deaths by St. Mark Village.

Ten were reported by Bardmoor Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Walton Place, The Oaks of Clearwater, Bay Pointe Nursing Pavilion in St. Petersburg, Inn at the Fountains in St. Petersburg and Lexington Health and Rehabilitation Center, including one under investigation.

Nine deaths were reported by Tierra Pines Nursing Home in Largo, Freedom Square Rehabilitation & Nursing and Gulfport Rehabilitation Center, including one under investigation. Eight were reported by West Bay of Tampa and The Care Center at Pinellas Park.

Seven were reported by Carrington Place of St. Pete, Grand Villa of Largo, Kensington Gardens Rehab and Nursing Center, Health and Rehabilitation Centre at Dolphins View, and Arbor Oaks of Tyrone.

Six were reported by Consulate Health Care of St. Petersburg, Regal Palms, Consulate Health Care of Safety Harbor, Patrick Manor, Stratford Court of Palm Harbor and St. Petersburg Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Five were reported by Palm Garden of Largo, Alpine Health and Rehabilitation and Highland Pines Rehabilitation Center.

Four deaths were reported by Marion and Bernard L. Samson Center, Evergreen Manor Retirement Home in Safety Harbor, Angel Care Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg, Eagle Lake Nursing and Rehab Center, Gateway Care Center of Pinellas, Harbourwood Care Center in Clearwater, North Rehabilitation Center, Seasons Belleair Memory Care in Clearwater, Seasons Largo, South Heritage Health & Rehabilitation Center, Egret Cove Center in St. Petersburg and Grand Villa of St. Petersburg.

Three were reported by Baytree Lakeside in Kenneth City, Palm Garden of Pinellas, Grand Villa of Pinellas Park, Masonic Home of Florida in St. Petersburg and Country Inn, Belleair Health Center.

Two deaths were reported by Cross Terrace Rehabilitation Center, Alhambra Health and Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg, Brentwood Senior Living at St. Pete, Bay Tree Center in Palm Harbor, Palm Garden of Clearwater, East Bay Rehabilitation Center in Clearwater, Grand Villa of Clearwater, Harborchase of Palm Harbor, The Inn at Freedom Square, The Inn at Lake Seminole Square, Royal Oaks Manor, Shore Acres Care Center in St. Petersburg, Sunset Point, Sabal Palms Health Care Center in Largo, PARC of St. Petersburg, Heron House of Largo, Westminster Suncoast, Pinellas Point Nursing and Rehab Center in St. Petersburg, and Lakeside Oaks Care Center, including one under investigation.

One death was reported by Westminster Palms in St. Petersburg, Wrights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Seminole, The Vineyard Inn in Largo, Union House in Clearwater, Sylvan Health Center in Clearwater, Sylvan Terrace in Pinellas Park, Princeton Village of Largo, Seabreeze Siesta Manor in Clearwater, Grand Villa of Dunedin, Golfview Healthcare Center in St. Petersburg, Heather Haven in Dunedin, Heather Haven II in Dunedin, Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living in Pinellas Park, The Barrington, Addington Place of East Lake, Addington Place of College Harbor in St. Petersburg, Clearwater Center, Bristol Court Assisted Living Community in St. Petersburg, Glen Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Clearwater, Laurellwood Care Center in St. Petersburg and Bayside Care Center in St. Petersburg.

COVID-19 deaths countywide

DOH reported two more COVID-19 related deaths on Oct. 11, bringing the county’s death toll to 782. However, no details of those deaths were included in the daily line list report. Comparing the summary report on cases and deaths, it appears one of the new deaths was in the 45-54 age group and one in the age 85 and up. No information on gender was available.

Pinellas has the seventh highest death rate in the state at 3.4% and 782 deaths. Charlotte County has the highest rate at 4.6% and 149 deaths. Hernando has the second highest rate at 4.4% and 148 deaths. Highlands County is No. 3 with a rate of 4.2% and 99 deaths. Citrus County is No. 4 with a rate of 4% and 118 deaths. St. Lucie County is No. 5 with a rate of 3.6% and 303 deaths. Indian River County is No. 6 with a rate of 3.5% and 119 deaths.

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%), 21 in 45-54 (3%), 68 in 55-64 (9%), 149 in 65-74 (19%), 241 in 75-84 (31%) and 293 (37%) in ages 85 and up.

DOH reported four COVID-19 related deaths in Pinellas on Oct. 9, including two women ages 85 and 64, and two men ages 59 and 53. DOH reported on Oct. 8 that two women age 95 and 90 had died due to COVID-19.

DOH reported six deaths on Oct. 7, including five women ages 92, 84, 68, 68 and 56, and one man age 79. DOH reported four deaths on Oct. 6, but the death toll rose by only two to total 768. However, details were released on four, including two women ages 98 and 89, and two men ages 97 and 88.

DOH reported three more COVID-19 related deaths on Oct. 5, including one woman age 82 and two men ages 74 and 63. No new deaths were reported on Oct. 4. DOH reported four deaths in Pinellas on Oct. 3, and provided details on seven, including one women age 94, and six men ages 92, 86, 75, 75, 65 and 64.

DOH reported four deaths in Pinellas on Oct. 2, including three women ages 100, 78 and 76, and one man age 90. DOH reported two deaths on Oct. 1 and released details on three, including one woman age 90 and two men ages 86 and 84.

Local state of emergency, face mask order

Pinellas County Commissioners voted unanimously Oct. 6 to extend the local state of emergency until Oct. 16. The ordinance requiring that facial covering be worn in indoor places remains in effect.

Several members of the public spoke against the ordinance and were opposed to the commission delegating authority to the county administrator to make the decision.

Commissioners voted Sept. 22 to delegate authority to the administrator to approve future extensions of the local state of emergency when regular meetings are not scheduled. The extensions must be done every seven days per state law.

County Administrator Barry Burton recommended that the state of emergency and the ordinance remain in effect for another seven days.

Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the state Department of Health Pinellas, reported that the seven-day rolling count of new COVID-19 cases was down to 70 with a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 3.1%. However, he said the death count continues to climb and was up to 768 on Tuesday.

He said 70% of deaths had come from long-term care facilities with 88% in persons age 65 and older. The county’s death rate is 3.4%.

Choe also said the numbers at the hospitals were good and the health care system was stable. So far, there had not been big numbers of cases reported at local schools.

Burton said he had met with administrators at Hillsborough and Pasco counties to seek a regional approach to managing community spread. He also said that local hospital executives were working on recommendations for metrics that could be used to consider future actions, such as eliminating or reinstituting a face mask ordinance. That information is expected to be available by the commission’s Oct. 20 meeting.

Burton plans to present information specific to Pinellas, as well as the region and to include state and national trends.

He said he knows that the mask ordinance is controversial and that people disagree with it.

“But it works,” he said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of face masks.

The countywide ordinance requires that face masks be worn in indoor public places when social distancing is not possible also remains in effect. The ordinance requires that retail employees 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.

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

Statewide cases top 730,000 with 15,552 deaths

The number of confirmed cases in Florida residents was up to 725,415 on Sunday. Another 9,076 cases were reported in non-residents, bringing the total 734,491 — 5,570 more than the number reported on Friday.

Due to a glitch with test results, DOH did not release its daily report on Oct. 10, so the number of people who tested positive on each of those two days was only available on the Data and Surveillance Dashboard.

The graphic shows that 1,790 new cases were reported in Florida on Oct. 9 and 3,700 on Oct. 10.

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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.

Oct. 8 had been the first time since Sept. 29 that more than 3,000 new cases had been reported in a single day. DOH reported 3,306 new cases on Oct. 8 and 3,266 on Sept. 29.

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 15,552 deaths, which is 178 more than the number reported on Friday. DOH also reported that 188 non-residents have died, two more, bringing the state’s death toll to 15,552.

DOH reports that 45,924 residents have been hospitalized statewide, 249 more than the number reported on Friday. No information was available about non-residents.

Testing statewide

DOH reported on Oct. 11 that 3.47% of 102,982 test results on Oct. 10 were positive and 7.88% of 20,938 results on Oct. 9; however, due to the data dump of previously reported lab results, which prevented normal processing of results on Oct. 9, the state says the most accurate way to interpret percent positivity for those two days is to average them. The two-day average of results from Oct. 9-10 was 4.24%.

Previous results in October showed 4.13% of 67,334 test results on Oct. 8 were positive, 4.57% of 68,792 results on Oct. 7, 4.15% of 58,810 on Oct. 6, 5.26% of 41,129 on Oct. 5, 3.93% of 34,303 on Oct. 4, 3.74% of 48,061 on Oct. 3, 4.79% of 56,109 on Oct. 2 and 3.77% of 68,777 on Oct. 1.

DOH reported results of 5,557,698 cumulative tests done statewide on residents and nonresidents with 13.22% coming back as positive as of Oct. 10, compared to N/A on Oct. 9, 13.19% on Oct. 8, 13.21% on Oct. 7, 13.22% on Oct. 6, 13.24% on Oct. 5, 13.25% on Oct. 4, 13.26% on Oct. 3, 13.27% on Oct. 2 and 13.28% on Oct. 1. Results were inconclusive for 7,167. DOH is no longer reporting the number of pending test results.

National cases up to 7.7 million with 214,388 deaths

According to information from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, posted at 2 p.m. Sunday, cases of the coronavirus reported in the United States were up to 7,742,279 with 214,388 deaths compared 7,689,358 with 214,007 deaths at 6 p.m. Saturday. The number of global cases increased to 37,314,346 with 1,073,955 deaths compared 37,010,669 with 1,069,836 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.