Florida hits lowest count of new coronavirus cases since June

Posted at 10:54 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 23:19:31-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Data released Monday from Florida’s Department of Health (DOH) shows a downward trend of new coronavirus cases.

While testing numbers were lower than normal over the weekend, Monday marked the lowest count of new coronavirus cases in Florida since mid-June.

“We absolutely are starting to see some real breaks in the clouds here,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch with USF Health. “Every metric that I can look at is pointing all in the same direction and they’re all saying that we’re making really good progress over the last month or so.”

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman took to social media to thank the public for wearing a mask and social distancing.

Dr. Unnasch said overall case numbers are down 50 percent compared to one month ago and hospitalizations due to coronavirus are also down.

“We have this thing on the run right now but if we turn our backs and raise our hands to the sky, proclaim victory, it’s just going to come around and cold-cock us and knock us down on the mat again," he said.

According to DOH, the positivity rate in Hillsborough County was 6.9 percent on Sunday.

In Pinellas County, the positivity rate dipped to 3.1 percent.

ABC Action News asked Dr. Unnasch if policies such as mask mandates and enforcing social distancing is a direct correlation to lower numbers seen this week.

Dr. Unnasch said in June, new cases doubled every seven days in Hillsborough County before an ordinance went into effect.

“When they instituted the mask order, one week later the doubling time in Hillsborough County went from seven days to 320 days," Dr. Unnasch said.