SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - In an afternoon press conference with President Trump, he asked all Americans to not gather in groups of more than 10 people, one of the steps he believes are necessary over the next 15 days to fight what he calls this “invisible enemy.”
UPDATE: Some of the information in this article may be outdated. To see the latest number of coronavirus patients, follow this link
The other recommendations are:
In Florida, the Health Department unveiled a new map Monday showing the spread of the coronavirus across the state, mimicking the worldwide map available from John Hopkins and available on our website.
To see a larger version of this map, which is best viewed on a desktop computer, follow this link.
The new map states Florida has 142 cases, but that does not match the total number of cases of 160 that the department reported. That’s because the 142 cases reflects only Florida residents and Florida residents out-of-state and does not include 18 non-residents tested in Florida.
There was also a coronavirus-related death in Orange County on Monday, bringing number to five in Florida.
One thing we do now is that over the weekend, the number of Florida counties with coronavirus patients increased. Though many of the new cases were located in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the following counties now have positive cases: Alachua, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Johns, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia.
Locally, there are three cases in Sarasota County and five in Manatee County being reported by the Health Department. We know that two coronavirus patients are located at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, but hospital officials say they actually have four patients.
Late Sunday night, the hospital was notified of two more presumptive positive cases, including an 87-year-old man admitted on March 13 and an 80-year-old man admitted on March 14. So far, the Health Department’s information does not reflect these new cases.
With numbers now over 150 in the state, health officials are updating how they report cases. Previously, the department listed out cases by county, age, gender and whether or not the person had traveled internationally. Instead, health officials are now reporting cases like this:
Positive Cases of COVID-19 (as of 7pm, March 16):
- Confirmed Cases in Florida Residents: 142
- Confirmed by DOH: 99
- Tested by private labs: 43
- FL resident* diagnosed & isolated out-of-state: 6
- Deaths: 5
- Cases in Non-Florida Residents: 18
- Confirmed by DOH: 16
- Tested by private labs: 2
- Total Cases Overview: 160
- Traveled: 45
- Contact with confirmed case: 32
- Travel & contact with confirmed case: 51
- Under Investigation: 32
*Florida residents that are diagnosed with COVID-19 and isolated out of state are not reflected on the Florida map.
Positive Test: A positive test is when a sample sent to the state health lab comes back positive for COVID-19.
Negative Test Result: A negative test result is when a sample sent to the state health lab comes back negative for COVID-19.
Pending Test Result: A pending test result is when a sample sent to the state health lab has not been declared positive or negative at the time.
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.
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.
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 COVIDemail@example.com.
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.