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New deaths in Tampa Bay area as state, counties begin to reopen

The number of recorded coronavirus cases is likely an undercount
A pedestrian wears a protective mask in Tampa last month. The number of coronavirus infections and deaths has continued to climb as cities across Florida prepare for a partial reopening.
A pedestrian wears a protective mask in Tampa last month. The number of coronavirus infections and deaths has continued to climb as cities across Florida prepare for a partial reopening. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published May 2, 2020
Updated May 2, 2020

As cities and counties across Florida prepared for a partial reopening, the state on Saturday recorded 51 new coronavirus deaths and 735 new infections over a 24-hour period.

There were two new deaths in Manatee County and three new deaths in Pinellas County, according to state Department of Health data.

Statewide, 1,388 people have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The number of reported coronavirus cases is still likely an undercount because testing has been limited and some people don’t show symptoms.

Less than two percent of the state’s population has been tested so far. Of the nearly 418,000 people who have been tested, 8.5 percent have tested positive for COVID-19. Antibody tests are beginning to be used across the Tampa Bay area, but doctors aren’t sure of their accuracy.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered a partial reopening of the state that begins Monday.

Pinellas County’s safer-at-home order will expire on the same day.

Hillsborough County leads the Tampa Bay area with 1,240 cases, but it has fewer deaths than Pinellas and Manatee counties, both of which have had nursing home outbreaks.

A nursing home in Seminole, where 18 people have died, is one of the deadliest outbreaks at an elder-care facility in Florida.

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