According to the John Hopkins University of Medicine, between December 26th and January 1, Florida logged 302,179 new COVID-19 cases with 157 deaths.
Both the number of cases and the positivity rate (26.57%) were record highs.
However, the death rate is thankfully lower than the record high set in September, which saw 2,468 Florida resident deaths during the week of September 12-September 18.
The lower death rate may be because some scientists now theorize that the Omicron variant is less severe than previous variants because it spares the lungs.
What do the Numbers Look Like in Tampa Bay?:
According to the Mayo Clinic, Hillsborough County is currently considered a COVID-19 hot spot when compared to other counties in Florida.
The most recent weekly average of Hillsborough County cases logs an average of 1,981 cases per day
Pinellas County's numbers are not nearly as high, at 692 average cases per day.
Pasco County had an average of 337 cases per day.
The county with the highest number of daily cases was Miami Dade at 20,071 cases.
According to recent data, 79% of Hillsborough County's hospital beds are occupied and 86% of ICU beds are occupied.
Pasco County has 73% of hospital beds and 76% of ICU beds occupied.
Pinellas County has 69% of hospital beds and 72% of ICU beds occupied.
In Response to Higher COVID numbers, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County Reinstate Mask Mandates:
In order to slow the transmission of the virus, on December 29th, Hillsborough County officials revised guidelines to include requiring face masks inside at all county facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
One day later on December 30th, the City of Tampa reinstated its masks requirements inside of city buildings.