HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group met Thursday to discuss its ongoing coronavirus response efforts.

The group also voted 8-0 to extend the local state of emergency in accordance with Governor DeSantis’ executive order that was issued Tuesday to extend the state of emergency through Sept. 4.

Hillsborough County currently has 16,666 total coronavirus cases. On Thursday, the county saw a 567 case increase.

During the meeting, Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley said the county has tested 53,648 residents thus far. Just last week, ending on July 3, the county tested 9,033 people.

Dudley mentioned the county currently has 15,229 test kits on hand.

In an update from Florida Department of Health Hillsborough County Director Dr. Doug Holt, he said there have been just under 2,700 recoveries in the county.

Holt also stated the county is seeing a rolling 14-day average of 655 cases per day, which is a 121 percent increase.

When it comes to hospitalizations, Holt said the county has seen an increase in hospital admissions coming from long-term care facilities.

A total of 182 people have died as a result of COVID-19 in Hillsborough County. Holt said the rolling seven-day death rate per day is 3.29, which is a 21 percent increase.

County officials noted the 15-24 and 25-34 age groups continue to have the largest number of positives test results in the county.

Finally, the EPG received an update from Holt regarding the contact tracing efforts in the county.

Holt said the contact elicitation window, the timeframe when the case was likely infectious and not under isolation and time period for which possible contacts should be elicited, begins roughly two days before the onset of symptoms or the lab collection date. The infectious period would subsequently end 10 days after symptoms appear.

Currently, the county has four different priority groups when it comes to contact tracing investigations.

  • Priority One:
    • Hospitalized
    • Healthcare and first responders
    • Long-term care facilities
    • Congregate settings: shelters, prisons
    • Large households
  • Priority Two:
    • Older than 65
    • At higher risk for severe disease
    • Pregnant women
    • Critical infrastructure workers
  • Priority Three:
    • Symptomatic
  • Priority Four:
    • Asymptomatic

Holt said the county has 239 total case investigators and contact tracers. Eighty-three of those members are current staff members. Forty are through the Hillsborough County CARES Funding program. One hundred and 25 are through the state.

You can view the full EPG meeting in the video player below.