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Hillsborough leaders frustrated with COVID-19 spike

Posted at 6:08 AM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 18:15:49-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group (EPG) met again Monday and were met with alarming new statistics that show a spike in positive COVID-19 cases.

Health officials say Hillsborough County has had 438 new cases in the last three days, with 223 on Sunday.

There is concern about complacency regarding social distancing.


The number of cases is also impacting young people with the 25-34 age range seeing the largest growth.

They account for more than 20% of Hillsborough County’s 3764 cases.

“In speaking with some of the medical facilities, the folks that are in the hospital now are really sick and they are young. Often times, if they are hospitalized, they end up staying sick not only for the time they are there but for long periods of time,” said Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman.

Officials say they don’t see the rising numbers tied to any specific locations or activities related to reopening.

“If we continue to see an increase in the daily test positives -- which means some portion of those folks will be in the hospital and they are staying for a long period of time -- we are going to have a problem where people are not recognizing their part in actually protecting each other,” said Overman.

Health officials say they’ve now tested 6% of Hillsborough County’s population.

The death rate is declining as is the number of cases in long term health care facilities.

One of the EPG members says even with so many cases in the county it feels like we are flying in the fog with a pattern of outbreaks.

“It seems odd and frustrating that we can’t identify anything that is where these are danger points. Whether it’s air travel, large groups, hanging around other people that are ill. All these things that anecdotally we would start to see some patterns,” said Temple Terrace Vice Mayor Andy Ross.

Health officials say they also have yet to find a link to new cases as a result of the recent protest gatherings.

The good news is the death rate in Hillsborough County is declining as is the number of cases in long term health care facilities.