LISTEN LIVE

Pinellas County

Pinellas County Sheriff Gualtieri pictured standing at a podium surrounded by law enforcement officers.
WUSF Public Media

Despite court guidelines to release people accused of unlawful assembly, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri requested that more than 35 protesters arrested on that charge last week be held in jail until they could be seen by a judge.

Julie Marcus head shot
PINELLAS COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS

Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed Julie Marcus as the new Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections.

She replaces Deborah Clark, who retired on March 31 after nearly 20 years to spend more time with her family.

Exterior of AMC Woodlands in Oldsmar
GOOGLE

Movie theaters in Pinellas County will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity after being shuttered due to the coronavirus.

A sign that says Carrollwood Village Park
Courtesy Hillsborough County

If the car traffic in the space of 10 minutes on Sunday afternoon was any indication, people are eager to get back to bird watching or just walking in the woods of Lettuce Lake Park, in northern Hillsborough County.

Mosquito season isn't officially here yet, but they are starting to appear already.

And this year, there's a new question: can mosquitoes spread coronavirus? 

If there's some good news, the answer is "no."

A male and female medical officials take a medical test sample from a person in a car at a drive-thru sitesample
Manatee County Government

Pinellas County is now offering COVID-19 testing without restrictions at three sites. The testing is free and is being offered for walk-ups and drive-through to at Community Health Centers in Pinellas Park, Clearwater and the Johnnie Ruth Clarke Center in St. Petersburg. 

A group of teenagers sits on a beach towel at Clearwater Beach.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Pinellas County's beaches were busy Monday, on the first day that people were allowed to return to the sand.

A white sign says "business is open"
Delaney Brown / WUSF Public Media

In two unanimous votes, the Pinellas County Board of Commissioners decided Friday to extend the local state of emergency while allowing some businesses to resume in accordance with Governor Ron DeSantis’s plan to reopen the state.

crowd in stands at Tropicana Field
Tampa Bay Rays

The Pinellas County School District and Tampa Bay Rays are working to ensure area high school seniors receive a traditional graduation ceremony at Tropicana Field.

A screenshot of multiple pinellas commissioners sitting in their home or offices while on a zoom video conference.
Screenshot of Pinellas County Commission emergency Zoom meeting

Pinellas County commissioners will discuss the possibility of easing beach restrictions during a meeting on Thursday.

The subject came up at a Monday meeting where commissioners extended a local state of emergency until Friday. That order includes the continued closure of public beaches and beach parking areas.

Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton
Pinellas County

After a  long meeting that highlighted confusion about the statewide stay-at-home order Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Wednesday, Pinellas County Commissioners voted Thursday to close non-essential businesses in order to comply.

But as they put that plan into effect, officials say they'll seek guidance from the state about the scope of DeSantis' order.

walker next to nursing home bed.
iStock

Senior citizens in Pinellas and Pasco may soon have low-sodium Chinese food delivered right to their doorstep.

The Area Agency on Aging of Pinellas-Pasco “Dining Out at Home” program plans to connect seniors staying at home because of the coronavirus with freshly cooked meals from local restaurants.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health

With more than 900 new positive test results added since Saturday evening, Florida is rapidly approaching 5,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to figures released by the Florida Department of Health just after 6 p.m. Sunday, 4,950 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus. That’s up by 912 from the same time Saturday, and almost 1,800 since Friday evening.

A graphic showing 3,763 cases of coronavirus
Florida Department of Health

Three more people in Pinellas County have died from coronavirus, bringing the county’s total death toll so far to four, as the state of Florida reported a new record leap in coronavirus cases – 863 more in a day -- officials said Saturday.

COURTESY: PINELLAS COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Pinellas County residents are being directed to stay at home for one week, starting Thursday morning, under a stay-at-home resolution approved by county commissioners Wednesday.

Medical supplies
iStock

As the spread of COVID-19 in Florida increases the load on the health care system, Pinellas and Hillsborough county officials are asking for donations of medical supplies.

picture of the front of a courthouse
Sixth Judicial Circuit

Florida's Chief Justice Charles Canady late Tuesday ordered state circuit court judges to cancel, postpone or reschedule all but "essential" court proceedings. The stricter measures aim to limit the number of people crowding into courtrooms, after lawyers complained of dangerous conditions due to coronavirus. In addition, one courthouse employee in Miami has tested positive for COVID-19.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stands in front of a podium next to a sign language interpretor.
Screenshot from Pinellas County YouTube page livestream.

Pinellas County officials are limiting restaurant alcohol sales, a day after St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman announced his city will stop them at 9 p.m.

However, they are keeping beaches open for the time being.

STEVE NEWBORN/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Few delays were reported at polling places in Pinellas County today, even after about 300 poll workers didn't show up this morning over fears about COVID-19.

man with back to camera speaks to commissioners on a panel
Pinellas County YouTube channel

While Hillsborough and Pinellas County joined the rest of the state in closing public schools through March 27, the Tampa Bay area’s two most populous counties took other different measures Friday in response to the coronavirus.

Bobby Jones Golf Club
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

While Sarasota deals with a long time issue involving a historic golf club, Pinellas County is spending $1.2 million on a former golf club to, in part, create a new park.

The 2020 primaries are fast approaching in Florida. Those who have not yet registered to vote or changed party affiliation still have a little time to do so.

Primaries take place March 17. However, those who want to participate and are not registered voters, need to register before the February 18 deadline. 

A new decade means a new United States Census.

Pinellas County is announcing an outreach program to ensure as many people take part in the 2020 count as possible.

General elections were held across the Tampa Bay region Tuesday. Results from key races are below. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Red tide has returned to the Tampa Bay area.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that a bloom of the organism that causes red tide was detected over the past week off Sarasota and Pinellas counties.

Respiratory irritation was also reported in Sarasota.

Red tide was first detected off Collier county in late September and slowly made its way north to Lee and Charlotte counties.

The hepatitis a vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Pinellas and Pasco counties are starting to see significant declines in the number of hepatitis A cases that are being diagnosed each month, the state’s surgeon general told a panel of senators on Tuesday.

From a distance, the bright fluorescent figures under the Boot Ranch overpass in Palm Harbor may look like another wall covered in graffiti; but, take a closer look and you will find a common theme- a shark on a skateboard, a kid on a tricycle, an old turtle on a scooter.

These images are all part of a mural titled Be Right Back by artist Stephen Palladino, the first step in Pinellas County’s attempts to minimize vandalism and increase public art.

Chris Sprowls
Florida House of Representatives

The Tampa Bay area should get a larger voice in the state legislature next year. Members of the Florida House on Tuesday named Chris Sprowls of Pinellas County as its next speaker.

A film crew at work
Film Tampa Bay

Numerous films and TV shows have been filmed in Florida through the years, from Burn Notice and Miami Vice to The Truman Show, The Punisher and Scarface.   

Health department gives a hepatitis A shot to a person in Gulfport.
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida is dealing with the state's worst hepatitis A outbreak in years and the Tampa Bay area has been hit the hardest. Health officials in Pinellas County are using a new method to combat the virus, which attacks the liver. 

Pages