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Florida Agricultural Commissioner: Prevent spread of coronavirus, flu by wiping down commonly used surfaces

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 09:44:23-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida likely has a third case of coronavirus. This new presumptive case is the sister of a Hillsborough County resident who was already infected.

Both had traveled to Italy recently and have been isolated since returning.

Gov. DeSantis saying health officials are testing four who had contact with a Sarasota man, testing positive. They're also now looking at a patient from New York who visited Florida recently.

Tuesday's announcement comes as efforts to prevent the spreading of the illness continues.

They're asking people to be careful what they touch and come in contact with, especially surfaces and other things that are touched by a lot of people every single day.

That's because COVID-19 can reportedly live on hard surfaces for nine hours.

So, Mary Barzee Flores, the Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, is urging everyone to wash their hands and be mindful of what you touch, like gas pumps. They're recommending you carry disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers with you to clean things you and others are touching.

For the wipes, make sure they say that they kill viruses, not just bacteria, and that the hand sanitizers are at least 60 percent alcohol.

"First of all, before filling up, disinfect your hands, the keypad, and the grip on the nozzle on the pump," said Flores. "Wash your hands and use the wipes for at least 20 seconds, that's real important. A quick wipe, wipe with the hand wipe won't do the job."

The Department of Ag is also recommending gas stations wipe down pumps regularly, make wipes and hand sanitizers available at pumps, and allow their employees to stay home when sick.