Health Dept. director says cases in Hillsborough Co. have gone down, but suggests they could rise again


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Downtown Tampa was quiet again Thursday, as many people remained home due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order.

Distancing methods could be working in the coronavirus flight as evidenced by Dr. Douglas Holt, director of the Florida Department of Health – Hillsborough County.

He spoke Thursday during the county’s emergency policy group meeting.

“A trend that is really more hopeful and wishful and certainly is not a forecast, I want to be clear, but the past three days we have seen cases that have averaged 30 a day compared to the 40 we saw at the end of last week,” Holt said. “Again, this is all driven by testing and time will tell.”

Time will tell is key. While Holt delivered some promising news, with it comes an important reminder.

“Emphasize again, I still expect to see cases to increase and whenever we do see a sustained drop, the risk is still going to remain as we’ve seen throughout the country, other cities, whether it’s New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis, or others being affected,” Holt said during the audio-only conference call.

Holt said things that are helping include the order to stay home, social distancing when in public and wearing masks or face coverings when around others.

He stressed that the coronavirus is not county specific, but regional, meaning while Hillsborough cases appear to be slowing this week, they could be rising elsewhere.


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