Florida now has over 100 cases, four deaths from coronavirus

Coronavirus: Flattening the curve

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - In what officials predicted would happen, we’ve seen a large increase in the number of coronavirus cases this weekend.

Florida now has 149 residents and non-residents with the virus and a fourth person died on Saturday, a 77-year-old man in Lee County who was previously diagnosed. As of Friday morning, Florida was reporting only 51 cases involving residents and non-residents.

There was also an increase in the number of Florida counties that have coronavirus patients. Though the vast majority of the new cases were centered in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the following counties now have positive cases: Alachua, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Johns, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia.

Also Saturday, Governor Ron DeSantis requested that Health and Human Services send home the 61 Floridians that were previously aboard the Grand Princess cruise line, home from isolation from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia.

There are currently two patients with coronavirus at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, a 67-year-old woman from Manatee County and a 70-year-old Massachusetts man. There’s a third case in Sarasota County, a 50-year-old New York man.

In Manatee County, there are three cases, including a 63-year-old man, 81-year-old woman, and 62-year-old woman.

Many of the new cases remain under investigation, particularly in Broward and Miami-Dade counties to determine how the patients contracted coronavirus, but a few have known origins, such as the Nile River cruise in Egypt, Port Everglades in Broward County, and international travel.

The Health Department says an earlier advisory about a possible case being connected to Daytona Bike Week 2020 was unnecessary. Further investigation showed the man, who had traveled from New York to Daytona, was isolated prior to attending the event.

However, there remains an advisory about a possible case associated with an EMS Conference in Tampa held from March 4 through March 6. The Health Department is recommending any person who attended the event and experiences possible coronavirus symptoms to contact their health care provider or county health department and self-isolate for 14 days.

At least four cases have been connected to Port Everglades and were associated with or employed by Metro Cruise Services, a company that greets cruise ship passengers. The Health Department is recommending any person who experiences possible coronavirus symptoms who traveled through Port Everglades to contact their health care provider or county health department and self-isolate for 14 days.

The Health Department is also advising Metro Cruise Services employees with any association to these cases to self-isolate at home and working with all employees who may have had contact to provide appropriate guidance and monitoring. The CDC also recommends that anyone with recent travel history on a cruise to monitor their health for 14 days and, if they develop symptoms, to immediately self-isolate and contact their health care provider or county health department.

A list of cases provided by the Florida Health Department involving Florida residents (as of 2am March 15) is below:

  1. Manatee, 63, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  2. Hillsborough, 29, Female, Known History of International Travel
  3. Santa Rosa, 71, Male, Known History of International Travel
  4. Broward, 75, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  5. Broward, 65, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  6. Lee, 77, Female, Known History of International Travel
  7. Lee, 77, Male, Known History of International Travel
  8. Charlotte, 54, Female, Known History of International Travel
  9. Okaloosa, 61, Female, Known History of International Travel
  10. Volusia, 66, Female, Known History of International Travel
  11. Manatee, 81, Female, Known History of International Travel
  12. Broward, 67, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  13. Volusia, 60, Female, Known History of International Travel
  14. Broward, 69, Female, No Known History of International Travel
  15. Nassau, 68, Male, Known History of International Travel
  16. Collier, 73, Male, Known History of International Travel
  17. Collier, 68, Female, Known History of International Travel
  18. Collier, 64, Female, Known History of International Travel
  19. Pinellas, 67, Male, Known History of International Travel
  20. Pinellas, 64, Male, Known History of International Travel
  21. Pasco, 46, Male, Known History of International Travel
  22. Miami-Dade, 56, Male, Known History of International Travel
  23. Broward, 70, Male, Under Investigation
  24. Broward, 61, Male, Known History of International Travel
  25. Broward, 65, Male, Under Investigation
  26. Lee, 57, Male, Known History of International Travel
  27. Seminole, 68, Male, Known History of International Travel
  28. Palm Beach, 73, Male, Known History of International Travel
  29. Palm Beach, 74, Male, Known History of International Travel
  30. Sarasota, 50, Female, Known History of International Travel
  31. Miami-Dade, 42, Male, Under Investigation
  32. Alachua, 24, Male, Known History of International Travel
  33. Volusia, 70, Female, Known History of International Travel
  34. Duval, 83, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  35. Clay, 57, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  36. Broward, 27, Female, No Known History of International Travel
  37. Broward, 25, Female, Known History of International Travel
  38. Hillsborough, 68, Female, Known History of International Travel
  39. Broward, 36, Male, Known History of International Travel
  40. Broward, 49, Female, Known History of International Travel
  41. Lee, 77, Male, No Known History of International Travel
  42. Orange, 41, Male, Under Investigation
  43. Osceola, 54, Male, Under Investigation
  44. Miami-Dade, 51, Male, Under Investigation
  45. Manatee, 67, Female, Known History of International Travel
  46. Manatee, 62, Female, No Known History of International Travel
  47. Volusia, 29, Male, Known History of International Travel
  48. Palm Beach, 59, Female, Known History of International Travel
  49. Palm Beach, 65, Male, Known History of International Travel
  50. Miami-Dade, 42, Male, Under Investigation
  51. Miami-Dade, 77, Female, Under Investigation
  52. Broward, 59, Male, Under Investigation
  53. Miami-Dade, 37, Male, Known History of International Travel
  54. Miami-Dade, 39, Female, Under Investigation
  55. Broward, 20, Female, Known History of International Travel
  56. Broward, 83, Female, Under Investigation
  57. Broward, 41, Male, Under Investigation
  58. Broward, 20, Female, Known History of International Travel
  59. Broward, 19, Female, Known History of International Travel
  60. Broward, 22, Female, Under Investigation
  61. Broward, 19, Male, Known History of International Travel
  62. Broward, 58, Male, Under Investigation
  63. Miami-Dae, 43, Male, Under Investigation
  64. Palm Beach, 37, Male, Under Investigation
  65. Clay, 55, Female, Under Investigation
  66. Lee, 72, Female, Under Investigation
  67. Citrus, 60, Female, Under Investigation
  68. Duval, unknown age, Male, Under Investigation
  69. St. Johns, 64, Female, Under Investigation
  70. Volusia, 71, Male, Known History of International Travel
  71. Orange, 48, Female, Under Investigation
  72. Clay, 70, Male, Under Investigation
  73. Duval, unknown age, Male, Under Investigation
  74. Hillsborough, 47, Male, Known History of International Travel
  75. Pasco, 67, Male, Known History of International Travel
  76. Hillsborough, 32, Female, Known History of International Travel
  77. Duval, unknown age, Male, Under Investigation
  78. Miami-Dade, 28, Male, Under Investigation
  79. Miami-Dade, 58, Female, Known History of International Travel
  80. Miami-Dade, 25, Female, Known History of International Travel
  81. Miami-Dade, 62, Male, Under Investigation
  82. Broward, 74, Male, Under Investigation
  83. Broward, 48, Female, Known History of International Travel
  84. Broward, 19, Female, Known History of International Travel
  85. Broward, 19, Female, Known History of International Travel
  86. Broward, 65, Male, Under Investigation
  87. Broward, 20, Female, Known History of International Travel
  88. Miami-Dade, 42, Male, Under Investigation
  89. Broward, 52, Female, Under Investigation
  90. Broward, 63, Female, Under Investigation
  91. Broward, 19, Female, Known History of International Travel
  92. Broward, 30, Male, Under Investigation
  93. Broward, 60, Male, Under Investigation
  94. Broward, 20, Female, Known History of International Travel
  95. Broward, 19, Female, Under Investigation
  96. Broward, 66, Male, Under Investigation
  97. Broward, 83, Male, Under Investigation
  98. Broward, 20, Female, Known History of International Travel
  99. Collier, 76, Male, Under Investigation
  100. Collier, 28, Male, Known History of International Travel

The latest numbers from the Florida Health Department website (as of 6pm March 15) are below:

Positive Cases of COVID-19

136 – Florida Residents

6 – Florida Residents Diagnosed and Isolated Outside of Florida

13 – Non-Florida Residents

Deaths

4 – Florida Residents

Number of Negative Test Results

684

Number of Pending Test Results

514

Number of People Under Public Health Monitoring

442 – currently being monitored

1,573 – people monitored to date

People Under Public Health Monitoring: The number of people under public health monitoring includes those at risk of having been exposed to COVID-19 who are monitoring their health under the supervision of public health officials.

*Florida Cases Repatriated: The United States Department of State officially coordinated the return of a person living in Florida to the United States and those persons are isolated at a federally designated site until healthy. A repatriated case is when the United States Department of State officially coordinates the return of a Florida resident to the United States.

Presumptive Positive: A Presumptive Positive is when a state health lab has a positive test without CDC confirmation.

Confirmed: A Confirmed status is given when the Presumptive Positive sample is then confirmed by the CDC.

Below is additional information from the health department:

International Travel

U.S. Department of State – Global Level 3 Health Advisory

The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.

CDC Guidelines

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who have traveled internationally to follow CDC guidelines, summarized below:

  • Level 3 Travel Advisory: CDC recommends 14-day self-isolation and social distancing upon return to the United States. Social distancing includes avoiding going out in public and close personal interactions. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your County Health Department or health care provider.
  • Level 2 Travel Advisory and Cruises: Travelers should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and they should call ahead to a health care professional or their county health department before seeking treatment.
  • According to CDC, a cruise ship is defined as a passenger vessel involving the movement of large numbers of people in closed and semi-closed settings.
  • For more information regarding current CDC travel advisories related to COVID-19, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

A person that experiences a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and any other destination under CDC travel advisory should call ahead to their health care provider or local County Health Department (CHD) and mention their recent travel or close contact, unless they are experiencing an emergency.

If a person has had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from areas or been in contact with a person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, they should call ahead to a health care professional and the County Health Department. The health care professional will work with the Department to determine if the person should be tested for COVID-19.

Nile Cruise Advisory

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who traveled to Egypt for a cruise or tour on the Nile River in February or March 2020 to self-isolate for 14 days following their date of return to the United States, and if ill, immediately contact their CHD or health care provider. Several passengers in the United States recently developed symptoms and have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, including 11 positive cases in Florida.

Port Everglades Advisory

The Department, through an extensive epidemiological investigation, has identified four positive COVID-19 cases associated with Port Everglades in Broward County, Florida. All three cases are connected to or employed by Metro Cruise Services – a company that operates at Port Everglades.

  • The Department recommends all individuals experiencing symptoms who have recently traveled through Port Everglades to immediately contact their CHD or health care provider and self-isolate for 14 Days.
  • The Department also recommends employees of Metro Cruise Services at Port Everglades with any association to these cases self-isolate at home.
  • The Department is working to connect with all employees at Metro Cruise Services who may have come into contact with the three individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to provide the employees with the appropriate guidance and monitoring.
  • The Department is working in close consultation with the CDC on this investigation.
  • CDC recommends that individuals with recent travel history on a cruise monitor their health for 14 days and, if they develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact their CHD or health care provider.

COVID-19 Public Website and Call Center

Please visit the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

What You Should Know

COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Department recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, 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
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The CDC does not recommend that asymptomatic, healthy people 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).

A person that experiences a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and any other destination under CDC travel advisory should call ahead to their health care provider and local CHD and mention their recent travel or close contact.

If a person has had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area or been in contact with a person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, they should call ahead to a health care professional and the CHD. The health care provider will work with the Department to determine if the person should be tested for COVID-19.

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