Coronavirus in Tampa Bay: How we’re doing ahead of holidays


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Coronavirus cases are continuing to surge across Florida as the state’s residents let their guard down for the holidays.

Florida health officials on Tuesday confirmed 10,434 new coronavirus cases, and 74 resident deaths to surpass 20,700 total deaths from COVID-19.

Though almost 50,000 vaccinations have been administered, most residents won’t receive the vaccine for months.

Around Tampa Bay, the spread of coronavirus is still raging, with all ten counties still seeing hundreds and sometimes thousands of new cases each day.

Using public data, researchers from the Harvard Global Health Institute mapped out the COVID-19 risk for counties using the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 people as a guide. As of Tuesday 65 of Florida’s 67 counties are in the “red” zone, with 25 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

The only two Florida counties in the “orange” zone were Glades County and Franklin County.

While the positivity rate has decreased in the months since the summer’s peak, the current positivity rate is creeping back up at 8.78% on Monday.

Local officials are acting upon the increasing positivity rate, as Hillsborough County commissioners voted last week to tighten restrictions on masks in restaurants.

Governor Ron DeSantis has repeatedly said there are no plans to issue a statewide mask mandate, but some cities and counties are still bracing for the height of the holiday season.

Take a look at your county’s mask restrictions.


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