Only 1% of Hillsborough County residents have been tested for COVID-19, leaders say it's not enough

Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 07:16:49-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Hillsborough County leaders say they want more people tested for COVID-19 before moving forward with talks of re-opening the county. 
During Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group meeting on Monday, county leaders learned only one percent of Hillsborough County residents have been tested for COVID-19.

Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley says they are working to get more tests and open three more testing sites including mobile testing. 

So far, there have been more than 970 positive cases for coronavirus in Hillsborough County, which is an extremely small percent of the population, but leaders say that could be because so few people have been tested.

"We’ve only tested one percent of this county's population. And I do believe if we’re going to go through the steps of opening this county back up, we’re going to have to go through the governor's office and we’re going to have to test more people," said Les Miller, EPG Chairman.

In terms of economic recovery, the county says they’ve received $256 million in federal funding through the CARES Act, and that local governments will decide how that money is dispersed. 

Leaders also briefly discussed preparing for hurricane season. Dudley says emergency management is looking into opening more shelters in the event of a hurricane to provide more social distancing.

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group will meet again on Thursday to discuss updated COVID-19 matters.