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First coronavirus death reported in St. Lucie County

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 18:52:06-04

ST LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — St. Lucie County leaders announced the first death in the county from the COVID-19 coronavirus on Friday.

At a news conference, health officials said the patient is a male, but no other details were provided.

"Our sympathies go out to his friends and family," said Clint Sperber, the health director of St. Lucie County.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Lucie County.

"12 are residents who live here, two are residents outside of the state," said Sperber.

WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:

FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: St. Lucie County leaders update coronavirus response

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus | We're Open South Florida

There is currently no shelter-in-place order in St. Lucie County, however all county beaches on North and South Hutchinson Island are closed and all schools will begin remote online learning on Monday, March 30.

Boat ramps in the county remain open.

"While beaches are closed, boat ramps are not. At least, not yet," said Sheriff Ken Mascara. "Please be responsible this weekend. Do not congregate along waterways or on islands."

The sheriff said all arcades in the county have been shut down, adding that "irresponsible arcade owners" were letting too many people inside.

"My message to these businesses is to please take this seriously," Sheriff Mascara said.

Rob Lord, the President of Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, said the hospital currently has adequate supplies and is reviewing them daily.

"We're working to manage our supplies during that time, making sure we have resources to protect patients and caregivers," said Lord.

Lord added that around 800 people have been tested at three drive-through COVID-19 testing sites at Cleveland Clinic hospitals in St. Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties over the last two weeks.

If you're experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, cough, and shortness of breath, call the Cleveland Clinic hotline at 772-419-3360.

A nurse will screen you over the phone and discuss your symptoms, whether you've traveled recently, and if you've been exposed to anyone with coronavirus.

"If a person meets that criteria, they will get an appointment for a drive-through location," said Lord. "They won't even need to get out of their car."

For the latest updates about St. Lucie County's coronavirus response, click here.