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Gov. DeSantis declares state of emergency amid coronavirus concerns

13 Florida residents diagnosed in Florida
Posted: 1:33 PM, Mar 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-09 22:32:09-04
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — (WPTV/AP) -- Facing a growing public health crisis, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis declared a state of emergency Monday to better marshal resources and get outside help against a new strain of coronavirus that has killed two people in his state.

In announcing the move, the governor again appealed for calm.

At a news conference Monday afternoon at the state Capitol, the governor urged Floridians to take common-sense precautions and stressed that normally healthy individuals remain at low risk of contracting the virus. He specifically cautioned the elderly and those with underlying health conditions not to go on cruise ships and long-haul flights, and to avoid large gatherings.

DeSantis said the emergency declaration allows for what he called a unified command structure to limit the spread of the virus, and to allow the state to more effectively mobilize resources.

"It also allows -- if need be -- out-of-state medical personnel to operate in Florida," he said. "It allows us to more swiftly purchase any necessary supplies, including masks and materials and equipment necessary to set up field hospitals."

Watch the full news conference below:

NEWS CONFERENCE: Gov. DeSantis holds Monday briefing on coronavirus (34 minutes)

State health officials on Monday night announced a new confirmed case in Florida, a 60-year-old woman in Volusia County. They said she is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. Officials said she has a history of recent travel outside of the United States.

As of Monday at 8:29 p.m., the Florida Department of Health released the latest numbers on coronavirus below:

COVID-19 Testing Results
- 13 Florida residents diagnosed

- 5 diagnosed and isolated in another state

- 1 confirmed positive non-Florida resident isolated in Florida.

  • 115 tests in state results pending
  • 140 negatives
  • 1,104 people monitored to date
  • 302 of 1,104 are currently being monitored

Florida Residents Diagnosed in Florida
County
Age
Sex
Known History of International Travel
1
Manatee
63
Male
No
2
Hillsborough
29
Female
Yes
3
Santa Rosa
71
Male
Yes
4
Broward
75
Male
No
5
Broward
65
Male
No
6
Lee
77
Female
Yes
7
Lee
77
Male
Yes
8
Charlotte
54
Female
Yes
9
Okaloosa
61
Female
Yes
10
Volusia
66
Female
Yes
11
Manatee
81
Female
Yes
12
Broward
67
Male
No
13
Volusia
60
Female
Yes

Florida officials said all people who have tested positive for COVID-19 will remain in isolation until they test negative.

On Sunday, the U.S. State Department issued a warning for U.S. citizens who are considering booking a cruise.

Officials urged travelers, "particularly travelers with underlying health conditions," to not travel by a cruise ship due to the increased risk of being infected by the novel coronavirus.

International Travel Advisory

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who have traveled internationally to follow the new CDC guidelines, summarized below:

  • Level 3: 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 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 contact your county health department or health care provider.

Nile Cruise Advisory

The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who traveled on a river cruise on the Nile River in Egypt in February 2020 to self-isolate for 14 days following their date of return to the United States. Several passengers in the United States recently developed symptoms and have been confirmed to be infected with coronavirus, including two positive cases in Florida.