Two Floridians have "presumptively" tested positive for COVID-19, or coronavirus, prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state public health emergency. One of the patients is a Manatee County adult; the second patient, also an adult, lives in Hillsborough County.
Florida has 2 presumptive positive #COVID19 cases: one adult resident of Hillsborough County and one adult resident of Manatee County. Both individuals are isolated and being appropriately cared for.— Florida Dept. Health (@HealthyFla) March 2, 2020
According to the Florida Department of Health, the Manatee County resident did not have a history of visiting countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC. Upon developing symptoms, the patient did seek care and is currently remains isolated until cleared by public health officials. There are eight other coronavirus tests in Florida currently pending results; the Florida Department of Health adds that despite the presumptive positive cases, "the overall immediate threat to the public remains low."
Coronavirus symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure to the virus. Most people recover from the 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.
As part of the state public health emergency, the Florida Department of Health will actively monitor all who meet the definition of a person under investigation (PUI) for coronavirus, as defined by the CDC, for a period of at least 14 days or until the person tests negative for the virus. Active monitoring by the Florida Department of Health will include, at minimum, risk assessment within 24 hours of learning an individual meets PUI criteria, as well as twice-daily temperature checks. The Florida Department of Health will lead emergency response activities among the various state agencies and local governments.
DeSantis will hold press conferences at Tampa and Miami department of health locations on March 2.
This is a developing story.