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Two possible coronavirus cases in Florida

CDC says both cases involve adults
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Posted at 10:11 PM, Mar 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 12:12:34-05

FLORIDA (WTXL) - — The Florida Department of Health says there are two presumptive positive cases of Coronavirus in Florida. One case is in Hillsborough County, the other in Manatee County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now working to confirm.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a Public Health Emergency for the entire state on Sunday night.

One patient is an adult in Manatee County. According to the Department of Health, the patient does not have a travel history to countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC. The patient is being treated at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota.

The second patient is an adult in Hillsborough County with a history of travel to Italy. This person is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials.

One patient is an adult in Manatee County. According to the Department of Health, the patient does not have a travel history to countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC. The patient is being treated at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota.

The second patient is an adult in Hillsborough County with a history of travel to Italy. This person is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials.

Governor DeSantis will travel to South Florida on Monday.

The positive tests still need to be confirmed by the CDC.

“State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees has taken appropriate, decisive action to help affect the best possible outcomes, and I will continue directing our state agencies to do whatever is necessary to prioritize the health and well-being of Florida residents,” said Governor Ron DeSantis in a statement.

“We are working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local medical providers to ensure these individuals receive the proper treatment and that anyone who has come into contact with them is following the necessary protocols, limiting or stopping any further spread,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees.

The statement released Sunday said DeSantis was issuing an executive order taking immediate effect to direct the state health officer and surgeon general to declare a public health emergency in Florida. DeSantis added that he authorized that official, Dr. Scott Rivkees, to take “any action necessary to protect the public health."

The statement also said the Florida Department of Health has been designated the lead state agency to coordinate emergency responses and to actively monitor all those with apparent or suspected COVID-19 infections for a period of at least 14 days or until tests turned up negative.

According to the department of health, there are 184 people under public health monitoring in the state of Florida. There are eight pending test results and 15 negative test results. Click here for more information.

PREVENT THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS

The CDC has offered some tips it believes will help prevent the spread of the disease.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

And if you develop mild symptoms, the World Health Organization recommends staying home.

Note: Reports from the Associated Press were used in this article.