Tampa Bay Reports Substantial Decline In COVID-19 Cases, Vaccinations

Hillsborough and Pinellas counties saw case numbers nearly split in half between this week and the last.

The Tampa Bay is seeing a strong decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases.

From Feb. 11 through Feb. 17, Hillsborough County reported 4,324 cases of COVID-19, according to the latest data released by the Florida Department of Health. That’s down from the 7,681 cases the county reported last week, Feb. 4 through Feb. 10.

Overall, case numbers are still up from mid-December, when the county reported just above 1,000 weekly cases, but way down from peaking in January. In the last week of January,  the county reported 18,219 cases.

Since the pandemic’s start, Hillsborough County has reported 368,092 cases of COVID-19.

The caseload reported in the past week was accompanied by a countywide positivity rate of 11.9%. For reference, a 10% positivity rate is considered the threshold for community spread by researchers. The week prior, the county saw a rate of 15.9%.

As for vaccination numbers, 959 individuals got the jab in Hillsborough County this week. That’s a couple hundred fewer individuals than the week before, which reported 1,338 vaccinations. The county’s vaccination rate is now 69%, accounting for all residents five and up who are eligible to receive the shot.

Neighboring Pinellas County also is reporting a dip in COVID-19 cases, confirming 2,086 cases in the last week. That’s almost half that of the prior week, which saw 4,004 new cases. The county’s positivity rate also is slightly lower, coming in at 9.3% this past week, down from 14.1% the week prior.

For comparison, in mid-December, the county reported about 500 new weekly cases and a positivity rate of only 2.8%.

Pinellas County has confirmed 204,837 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The report also showed that only 374 people in Pinellas County got vaccinated within the last week, compared to the 641 individuals who received the jab the week prior. With the addition of the newly vaccinated group, 654,959 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s 69% of the county’s eligible population.

Pasco County reported 1,095 new weekly cases and a positivity rate of 10.6%. So far, Pasco County has recorded 120,110 cases of COVID-19. In the week prior, Pasco County reported  2,454 COVID-19 cases and a 17.7% positivity rate.

The county has a vaccination rate of 68% after 312 more people got vaccinated in the last week.

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