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First Two Cases Of Coronavirus Confirmed In Florida

doctor's file labeled caronavirus
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The Center for Disease Control has announced two Floridians have tested positive for the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This comes after Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference Monday to give updates about the virus.

DeSantis says he found out about the individuals testing positive Saturday night, prompting Sunday’s executive order for a public health emergency related to COVID-19. Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees says one of the patients is a female resident of Hillsborough county in her 20’s who recently visited Italy, where the death toll has climbed to more than 50 people.

“This individual is currently stable and remains under continued isolation and medical care at home. The Florida Department of Health is working closely with this individual, her close contacts, health care providers to isolate and monitor individuals who may have been exposed," Rivkees said.

The other patient is an adult resident in Manatee County without travel history to China or other countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC. DeSantis believes there will be more cases to come. Currently the state is monitoring 184 people, and 784 in total have been examined. 

“That involves personal visits," DeSantis said, explaining the monitoring process. "That involves checking people’s temperatures. They’ve been very diligent about this. And the obviously with these cases they’ve proactively been contacting the people who may have had interactions with the patients."

For now, the Governor and Florida Department of Health are advising people to make sure they are taking safety precautions by washing their hands for twenty seconds at a time and frequently, avoiding people who are sick, and advising sick people to stay at home. The state also advises the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, with at least 60% alcohol.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.