Pinellas extends COVID state of emergency as positivity rate increases

Pinellas County extended its state of emergency order as COVID-19 cases continue to spike, even as the county starts vaccinations in nursing homes Wednesday.

During a board of commissioners meeting Tuesday, county administrator Barry Burton said Pinellas hasn’t seen this level of COVID-19 cases since July.  The seven-day average for test COVID positivity now stands at 7.3%. 

Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of public health, says Pinellas hospitals are sending out a warning – they are concerned. 

“They are starting to have some concerns about staffing if numbers continue to increase,” Dr. Cho told commissioners.  

Pinellas County health department getting 10,500 vaccine doses; distribution could begin next week

FL - DoH has been allotted a total of 21,450 doses of the vaccine, and the agency is splitting those doses between Pinellas and Broward counties.

Wednesday, Pinellas will be one of the first two counties in the state to give out the vaccine.  More than 10,000 doses are going to the health department to be distributed to nursing home patients and their employees.  

9,411 new Florida coronavirus cases reported Tuesday; 79 new deaths

The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 9,411 Tuesday. According to the state's daily update, the total number of cases in Florida is now 1,143,794.