NewsLocal NewsI-Team Investigations


Health map shows Tampa Bay is hot spot for coronavirus

Posted at 5:58 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 17:59:01-04

Tampa, Fla. — A nationwide map which is normally used to track and predict flu outbreaks is showing a troubling trend in the Tampa Bay region, when it comes to the spread of coronavirus.

Kinsa, which is a company that makes thermometers, teamed up with an Oregon State University statistician to create what it calls the U.S. Health Weather Map, which is normally used to track and predict the spread of the flu.


That map has identified Florida as one of the biggest hot spots in the country, when it comes to growing numbers of COVID-19, with reports of illness rates of up to three times the number expected this time of year.

Kinsa uses so called “smart” thermometers, which allow users to upload data to the web to track illness outbreaks.

Body temperature readings are compared to past years to predict when and where future outbreaks will occur.

Kinsa began modifying its flu map earlier this year to track coronavirus.

Here’s the map:

The company uses the term “atypical illness levels” to track those cases.

The map shows a higher number of illnesses in our state, which are unexpected this time of year.


In Hilllsborough County, the map showed a 6.92% illness rate a week ago … nearly three times the normal rate this time last year.

That number has since declined slightly, but is still trending well above normal.

If you have a story you’d like the I-Team to investigate, email us at