COVID-19 News Updates


Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 21-02

05-04-21 Business Update Face Covering Rescinded Fully Executed 

COVID Countywide Stats

  • Cases: 79,146
  • Deaths: 1,638
  • 7-day average positivity is around 3.5%, down by half from a month ago, and around what we saw in early fall 2020.

Vaccine Update

  • Pfizer now approved for 12-15-year-olds with parental consent – minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at the appointment and bring DOH Consent Form. DOH centers will begin offering vaccines by appointment starting Monday – details.
  • Total people who have received one or both vaccine doses as of April 30:
    • Pinellas County: 427,504
    • Florida: 8.9M
  • Pinellas is above the national average for fully vaccinated people (37% vs. 35% nationally) and more than half of those 16+ have received at least 1 dose. 
  • Working with CVB and tourism partners on vaccination special events for tourism industry employees. More details will follow once plans are solidified.
  • Tropicana Field testing site closes Saturday, May 15 followed by Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 28. Many pharmacies offer free testing even to those who are not insured. An updated map with all known locations is available here: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/testing/

Rules update 

  • Following Governor DeSantis’ executive order, 21-102, Pinellas County announces the following updates effective immediately:
    • COVID-19 ordinance requiring face coverings and certain safety protocols at businesses is rescinded.
    • The order requiring safety plan requirements for large events is also rescinded.
    • May 11 Board of County Commissioners meeting will no longer include State of Local Emergency and public hearing on the ordinance requiring face coverings.
    • Private businesses and organizations in Pinellas may still require face coverings and/or any other safety protocols as part of their business operation. Similarly, the Pinellas County School Board is not affected by the governor’s order, and masking and social distancing protocols remain in effect in Pinellas County Schools through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Their update on the issue is here.
  • We still encourage people to wear masks and follow safety protocols that they are comfortable with
  • Pinellas County Schools continue to require masks, but a public hearing is scheduled for June 8 to consider ending this requirement when school ends June 9.
    • Summer bridge program will have masks optional but encouraged. They may change that rule based on increases in case counts.
  • Masks will also still be required at PIE (St Pete/Clearwater Airport) as well as on airplanes, per TSA rules, until Sep. 13. Details here.
  • Masks will also be required on buses
  • Courts Mask Policy: Late last week the chief justice of the supreme court said courthouses no longer had to conduct health screenings – which included temperature taking – at the entrances anymore, nor are people required to wear masks or social distance in the hallways. However, in the courtrooms themselves, during in-person proceedings, social distancing and mask-wearing are required. Finally, civil jury trials in Pasco resume May 17 because of declining positivity rates. Criminal jury trials in Pasco had already resumed, as had criminal and civil trials in Pinellas County.  

Emergency Rental Assistance

  • 1,873 applications submitted; 3,090 more started but not yet submitted.
  • The review process of many applications has been delayed because of missing or insufficient documentation. We’re working to clarify language in the application and on our FAQ webpage and to provide resources to help residents with submitting their applications properly.
  • A new video tutorial is available to walk residents through the tenant application process: https://youtu.be/g2Ez63mgrcY
  • A list of community partners who can assist residents with applying is also now available on our website: https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/rental-assistance-faqs#help
  • If you hear from residents who have questions or need support with the application process, please share these resources with them.
  • General program information can be found at bit.ly/pc-rent

In other news

    • Forward Pinellas: SAVE THE DATE, Nov 2-4, 2021. The Gulf Coast Safe Streets Summit 2021 is going hybrid! Learn about safety efforts in the region, lessons learned from elsewhere, and explore how we can continue to work together to make our community safer for everyone. Email attached for more info.