Related video: Bay Pines VA nursing home requires masking amid rise in COVID-19 cases
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As the country continues to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases, new data reveals that cases have increased over the last week in Florida, and more, specifically, in Hillsborough County.
According to the Florida Department of Health’s latest weekly report, Florida saw a 21 percent increase in COVID-19 cases from July 28 to Aug. 3, with 15,170 new cases reported.
However, in Hillsborough County, the weekly data showed a hefty 29.4 percent increase (1,144 new cases) in the county last week.
Other nearby counties, such as Pinellas County, saw a 21.7 percent increase (766 new cases), Pasco County recorded a 26.3 percent increase (413 new cases), Polk County had a 23.8 percent increase (705 new cases), Hernando County saw a 22.7 percent increase (145 new cases), and lastly, Sarasota County reported a 23.5 percent increase (243 new cases).
With testing levels still relatively low statewide and cases increasing, some places are bringing back COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.
Bay Pines VA Community Living Center said their facility is bringing back face masking and other “pandemic-era” measures to slow the spread of the virus.
Doctors at the facility shared they’ve increased efforts to screen and test for COVID-19 in hopes of preventing a bigger outbreak.
“We learned the sooner that you intervene, the sooner you implement those measures, the best result you’ll be able to contain the issue,” Dr. Amin Elamin, the Chief of Staff for Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, told WFLA Reporter Justin Schecker.
As of last week, all staff and visitors at the community living center must wear a mask. There is also a two-visitor limit per resident, with visits encouraged to be outside.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have increased by 12.5 percent, with 9,056 hospitalizations reported nationwide at the end of July.
The Florida Department of Health releases its COVID-19 data every two weeks. To read the full data report, follow this link.