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The positivity rate for new coronavirus cases in Hillsborough County shot up to nearly 5%

graphic that reads "Florida Coronavirus Weekly Report"
More than 61,000 Floridians have now died from COVID-19.

Hillsborough County's positivity rate for new cases rose from 3.5% to 4.9% in one week. And Florida's COVID-19 death toll surpassed 61,000.

Hillsborough County's positivity rate for new coronavirus cases shot up to nearly 5%, according to the Florida Department of Health's latest weekly report.

For weeks, the county's rate hovered at 3.5%, but for the seven days ending Nov. 18, it was 4.9%, nearly double the statewide average of 2.5%.

Health experts say communities should be concerned when positivity rates for new cases go above 5%, as it suggests there is substantial transmission of the virus occurring in the community.

Florida added 10,828 new cases to its total last week, with 1,156 of those in Hillsborough.

The state's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 61,081.

The health department reported 109,494 more Floridians were vaccinated last week. The rate for kids ages 5-11 doubled from the previous week, up to 6%.

The following is a summary from Nov. 12-18, 2021.

Cases: 3,677,968 positive cases, an increase of 10,828 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 14,180,980 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 109,494. In all, 68% of Florida’s population over the age of five has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Positivity Rate: The positivity rate for new cases was 2.5%, the same as the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 61,081 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 384 from the previous week.

(NOTE: Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.)

County Breakdown:

(November 12 – November 18, 2021)


Cases (Increase)

Positivity (prv.)

# Vaccinations

% Vaccinated (prv.) *



4.9% (3.5%)


63% (62%)


135,395 (353)

2.1% (2.0%)


65% (64%)


129,514 (360)

3.1% (3.2%)


61% (60%)


55,720 (190)

2.5% (2.2%)


73% (72%)


65,296 (162)

2.4% (2.5%)


65% (64%)


79,767 (216)

2.7% (2.6%)


62% (62%)


28,669 (51)

2.2% (2.1%)


57% (56%)

* - Vaccination rate now includes children ages 5-11 years old.

ABOUT THE DATA: As of June 4, 2021, the Florida Department of Health no longer offers daily updates on coronavirus data, and instead issues a county-by-county and statewide weekly breakdown on about COVID-19 cases, deaths, and other information. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
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