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Pinellas County

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. 

Another 53 Hepatitis A Cases Reported in Florida

Jul 30, 2019

Florida had 53 new hepatitis A cases reported last week, bringing the total number of cases since January to 2,034, according to the state Department of Health. 

Pinellas County officials are urging residents and visitors to stay away from some blue-green algae blooms that have popped up in the last week.

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is here, and the Pinellas County Mosquito Control center wants people to be aware of the dangers the bugs can pose to their health.
Wikimedia Commons

They’re quick, they’re noisy, and they’re out to suck your blood this summer.

As the weather heats up and Florida grows increasingly muggy, mosquitos are coming out in swarms.

William Kemerer, Pat Gerard, and Josie Rocco accept checks on behalf of Brooksville, University Area in Tampa, and Pinellas County.
Adam Bakst / WUSF Public Media

Three Tampa Bay area communities will be able to make improvements thanks to their share of almost a million dollars in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Lealman community in Pinellas County, the University Area in Tampa, and the city of Brooksville will each receive $300,000 to clean up contaminated properties and develop community projects.

Updated Pinellas County flood zone map.
Pinellas County

Pinellas County residents may find themselves living in a flood zone after a recent update to coastal flood maps by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These new changes can mean higher or lower flood insurance premiums for some people.

The gate of Brooker Creek Preserve is closed with two cones in front of it and a sign that states center closed until further notice.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Residents in the Tampa Bay area are dealing with lingering smoke after a brush fire at Brooker Creek Preserve this week.

East Lake Fire Rescue, Oldsmar Fire and the Department of Forestry helped fight the fire at the preserve in north Pinellas County. Florida Forest Service officials said the fire burned 15 acres.

Hillsborough County evacuation zones.
Hillsboroughcounty.org

Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Emergency management officials say it's important residents know which evacuation zone they live in. Florida residents should have an evacuation plan in place before a storm is on the radar. 

  

When counties mandate evacuations, they will do it by zones A-E. The zones are set based on a home’s vulnerability to deadly storm surge, with Zone A being most vulnerable. Evacuation zones are not the same as FEMA flood zone designations.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Continues To Expand

May 14, 2019

Florida reported 92 hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total to 1,129 cases this year as an outbreak continues to grow, according to numbers posted Monday on the state Department of Health website. 

Hepatitis A Cases Soar Past 1,000

May 8, 2019

Florida has had a reported 1,037 cases of the liver disease hepatitis A this year, nearly double the amount reported for all of 2018, according to numbers posted on the state Department of Health website. 

Hepatitis A outbreak data map
Florida Department of Health

Florida is seeing a surge in hepatitis A infections and a majority of the cases are turning up in the Tampa Bay area.

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