Hillsborough BOCC Reports Increase In COVID Cases, Extends Emergency Order

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – In Hillsborough County, the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases currently averages 400 a day, with the positivity rate at about 8.6 percent, reported Dr. Douglas Holt, director of the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at the Commission meeting on Wednesday.

“Even as vaccination options continue to expand, the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Hillsborough County has been slowly but steadily increasing over the past few weeks,” said the BOCC in a statement.

The report prompted a reminder from Commissioners to residents not to relax their guard on COVID-19 preventive measures, and to take advantage of the many opportunities available to be vaccinated now that eligibility has expanded to all Floridians as prescribed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

More than 202,000 Hillsborough County residents are fully vaccinated, and another 197,200 have received at least the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The number of COVID-19 cases in residents 65 years of age and older – among the first groups to be eligible for vaccination in Florida – has decreased significantly, Holt said.

Hillsborough County will operate a vaccination site April 12-14 at the Plant City Stadium, 1810 S. Park Road in Plant City. Appointments are mandatory. An announcement will be made when the appointments are available for reservation. In the meantime, residents can prepare by going to patientportalfl.com and creating an account. For complete information on where vaccines are available in Hillsborough County, go to HCFLGov.net/vaccine.

It was reported that Hillsborough County expects to receive $285.5 million through the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Joe Biden on March 11.

Commissioners approved extending the state of local emergency enacted in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

When signed, the extension will be in effect at least through April 15. A state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless extended. The emergency declaration gives the County Administrator and emergency managers the ability to quickly take certain actions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and provides a path for federal reimbursement of certain expenses.

Commissioners will discuss the state of local emergency and other COVID-19 issues at their next regular meeting on Wednesday, April 21.  

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