TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Health Department Director told the Emergency Policy Group he’d like to see greater community cooperation to slow the spread of COVID-19 as there are signs of “community-based transmission.”
“It’s not about shutting us down cause I just can’t accept that our community won’t pull together and reduce this transmission,” Dr. Douglas Holt said.
County leaders reiterated during Monday afternoon’s meeting that the recent rise in new COVID-19 cases is mainly in the young adult population.
Florida Department of Health data shows half of Hillsborough County’s new infections in June are patients under the age of 34. More than 25% of them are in the 25-34 age group.
“We now have a lot of folks out working and interfacing with people in their businesses and in their community and our numbers have doubled in last two weeks on average,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman said.
The rolling 14-day average of new cases in the county is more than 100 each day.
“I do think people have gotten complacent because there is no sense of urgency,” Commissioner Sandy Murman added.
When asked whether new infections can be linked to recent largest protests against police brutality and racial injustice, Dr. Holt said there’s no evidence of that at this time.
“Over the past week we don’t see any smoking gun to say this increase we’re seeing is tied to any specific locations or activities associated with the reopening,” Holt also told the EPG.
Infections in the population over 55-years-old have trended downward in June, the hospital system is not overwhelmed and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients as of Friday is 138.
During the opening public comment, Alysha Legge spoke out against new rules.
“Your job is to protect my rights not my health,” she said. “That’s my personal responsibility.”
Another caller urged county leaders to issue a face covering recommendation.
“My greatest fear is that our health-care system is going to become quickly overwhelmed in an increase in new cases,” Kimberly Pullen said.
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