HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – Hillsborough County is downsizing its COVID-19 coronavirus operations as public demand at government-run testing and vaccination sites has declined significantly and more private providers are offering the services.
Today’s briefing to County Commissioners by County Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley was coupled with news that the COVID-19 positivity rate and number of cases are on a downward trend.
Highlights from the briefing include:
- County and state testing sites saw their busiest periods during the week of June 29, 2020 with an average of 1,807 daily tests, and the week of Dec. 21 with a daily average of 2,160 tests. Last week, the daily average was 622 tests.
- The last day of operations at the state-run testing site at University Mall is Friday, May 21. The County’s testing site at the Lee Davis Community Resource Center is scheduled to close on June 30. However, there are more than 50 other pharmacies and other providers locally that offer free COVID-19 tests.
- Traffic at County and state vaccination sites peaked the week of April 5, averaging a total of 5,141 shots a day. Last week, the daily average was 1,397 shots, with the majority being second doses. The federal vaccination site in Hillsborough is seeing similar decreases in demand, and is closing May 26.
- With more pharmacies and medical providers now having access to the vaccine, the private sector is outpacing government-run sites in dispensing. That trend is expected to continue. More than 100 local pharmacies and businesses offer shots at no cost.
As operations transition to the private and community-supported sectors, emergency officials will continue working with the Department of Health and other partners to support vaccinations for homebound individuals and to vulnerable populations in underserved areas, Dudley said.
In other action today, Commissioners:
- Continued to stress the importance of getting vaccinated. The vaccines are proven to prevent both the likelihood of getting the virus and transmitting it, said Dr. Holt, director of the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
- Approved extending the COVID-19 state of local emergency. When signed, the extension will be in effect at least through May 27. 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.
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