As COVID-19 cases rise in Hillsborough, a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ emerges

Hillsborough County's COVID-19 data appears to show a "pandemic of the unvaccinated," according to Mike Wiese, an epidemiologist with the Hillsborough County Health Department.

"Our average number of cases continues to rise and now is 1,622 cases per day and our positivity is 22%. That's higher than any time during the pandemic," Wiese shared.  

Wiese says that's due in large part to the relaxed restrictions and delta variant

The vaccine can help protect against the delta variant, but there have been breakthrough cases. In fact, since January there have been 1,545 such cases in Hillsborough County, but Wiese says that doesn’t tell the whole story.  

"During this same period over 107,000 unvaccinated residents have tested positive for COVID. Over the last week, 97% have been in unvaccinated individuals," Wiese added. 

RELATED: Bay Area hospital update: Unvaccinated COVID-19 patients filling beds

It’s the same with deaths. Thirty-one fully vaccinated people in Hillsborough County tested positive for COVID-19 and died, but 642 unvaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19 and died.  

"I would encourage everyone to get vaccinated that hasn't done so yet," Weise said. 

He also points out the majority of people in the hospital, are not vaccinated. 

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