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Florida Declares State Of Emergency Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a committee meeting
Andrew Harnik
/
AP

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a state of emergency declaration for Florida. The governor says the move will ensure more help is available and officials have more flexibility as they work to respond to the coronavirus.

“The reason why we’re doing that is it allows us to create a unified command structure. It also allows, if need be, out of state medical personnel to work in Florida. It allows us to more swiftly purchase any necessary supplies including masks and materials necessary to set up field hospitals. It allows pharmacists to dispense up to a 30 day prescription refill of maintenance medication,” DeSantis said.

Florida officials declared a public health emergency last week and the Division of Emergency Management is operating at an elevated level.

As of Monday evening, DeSantis said 18 Florida cases had been confirmed. Five of the cases stem from people who were diagnosed and are being treated out of state. DeSantis does not expect those patients to return to Florida until they are no longer contagious.

Results for 115 tests are pending. More than 140 tests have come back negative so far. DeSantis says health officials are currently monitoring 302 people for signs of the virus.