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Tampa Bay leaders weigh in on concerning coronavirus numbers

Sunday's report from the Florida Department of Health showed the highest single-day increase in cases since mid-July.

TAMPA, Fla. — Some are still calling this the second wave; others say it's the third wave. 

It probably depends on where you live and who you ask, but regardless, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country.

Case increases in recent weeks have caused Florida's 14-day moving average to rise since the beginning of October. As a whole, the U.S. last week broke record after record of new coronavirus cases faster than the number of new tests taken, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

In Florida, the Department of Health saw 10,105 new COVID-19 cases for Nov. 14 -- the highest single-day increase since mid-July.

That brings the statewide total to 885,201 cases since tracking began in March.

While other parts of the country can blame some of the spread on people running indoors to beat the cold, Floridians might be guilty of their own pandemic fatigue.

RELATED: CDC report on superspreader wedding shows how small events can carry big impacts

10 Tampa Bay spent the day Monday reaching out to state and local leaders about the alarming coronavirus trends we're seeing across the state.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor sent this statement:

“We, at the City of Tampa are vigilantly watching the trends of COVID-19 as the numbers tick in the wrong direction. We are working around the clock with our partners at the county, the region, the state and our medical institutions to look towards additional measures we can implement to keep our community safe. The next few weeks are critical as we move through the holidays a significant number of cases are being traced to family gatherings and events that bring people in close proximity. There is no doubt we are all frustrated and fatigued by restrictions associated with this pandemic, but we must remain vigilant and do our part to stop the spread. Stay safe, wash your hands, social distance, wear a mask.”

In Hillsborough County, commissioners raised concerns Monday at their meeting about the latest COVID-19 numbers. The director of the Department of Health in Hillsborough County explained that cases are rising across every age group and families should be concerned about college kids coming home for the holidays.


Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton replied to our inquiry saying, "I too am concerned with both the increasing number of cases and the percent positivity. This week the rolling 7-day average actually was a relatively flat or small decline over the previous week. We are monitoring these trends and talking with my Executive Policy Committee, the Board of Commissioners and my peers in neighboring counties about these trends. I don’t have an answer at this point if any changes are needed yet."

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says he's looking at how to communicate better with the public about staying vigilant and following the mitigating guidelines.

"If communication alone doesn’t work, then are there additional restrictions we should be looking at putting in place and if so, what are they and when is the right time to put those in place?," asked Kriseman.

Kriseman also blames Governor DeSantis for a lack of consistent and clear massaging about mask wearing and what regulations cities and counties have authority over.

Governor DeSantis' office and the Florida Department of Health have not responded to our inquiry. We'll update this story when we hear back.

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