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Hillsborough Reports Highest Number Of COVID-19 Cases After Opening Testing

drive-thru coronavirus testing site
University of Florida
Hillsborough County reported its largest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day on Saturday.

Hillsborough County reported its largest jump in COVID-19 cases in a single day on Saturday, days after it started providing tests to anyone who wants one.

The county added 77 positive cases, for a total of 1,240, according to the Florida Department of Health. The previous single-day high of 61 in Hillsborough had been recorded on April 12.

As state and local leaders work to reopen businesses and allow other activities, they are testing more people to determine who has the virus and to keep them from spreading it.

Speaking in Orlando on Saturday, Governor Ron DeSantis said more people than ever are being tested and few are coming back positive.

The state received results from 19,000 tests on Friday and 723 were positive, DeSantis said.

“So that’s a positivity rate of 4.1% and if you look over the last 10 days, the positivity rate in the state of Florida has been between 6.1 percent and 4.1 percent,” DeSantis said.

A lower rate of positive tests means officials are testing enough people to capture all of those infected with COVID-19 in a community.

The World Health Organization sets the benchmark at 10 percent or fewer positive tests.

When Hillsborough County opened testing to everyone last week, the number of people tested doubled from an average of 600 to 1,316 on Thursday and 1,160 on Friday.  The percent of positive cases rose from an average of 3.1 over the previous week to 6 percent on Friday.

The state has tested almost 420,000 people in Florida. It is adding drive-thru sites around the state, DeSantis said.

“You’re actually going to have more opportunities if you want to test because we feel if you are putting people back to work and maybe a worker has some symptoms, there’s hopefully in these communities an easy way to do it,” he said.

Last week, the state began allowing pharmacists to test people for COVID-19. So far, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart are opening up drive-thru sites across the state, DeSantis said.

As of Saturday, 1,364 people in Florida have died from the coronavirus, an increase of 50 over the previous day.

Tampa Bay area positive tests as of 11 a.m. Saturday, May 2: 

  • Hillsborough: 1,240 (1,190 local, 50 non-resident)
  • Pinellas: 757 (716 local, 41 non-resident)
  • Manatee: 607 (603 local, 4 non-resident)
  • Polk: 514 (507 local, 7 non-resident)
  • Sarasota: 372 (355 local, 17 non-Sarasota resident)
  • Pasco: 275 (267 local, 8 non-Pasco resident)
  • Hernando: 92 (86 local, 6 non-Hernando resident)

Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for last two weeks

  • May 2: 735 / 50
  • May 1: 1,038 / 46
  • April 30: 497 / 50
  • April 29: 347 / 47
  • April 28: 708 / 83
  • April 27: 610 / 14
  • April 26: 689 / 19
  • April 25: 306 / 43
  • April 24: 885 / 60
  • April 23: 1072 / 60
  • April 22: 707 / 60
  • April 21: 811 / 44
  • April 20: 744 / 49
  • April 19: 822 / 26
  • April 18: 739 / 22

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