TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Two people in the Tampa Bay area have tested “presumptively positive’ for coronavirus, according to the governor’s office.
The executive order issued from Governor Ron DeSantis on Sunday said the two individuals include a Manatee County resident and a Hillsborough County resident.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the Manatee County patient did not have “travel history to countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC.” This patient is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by health officials.
Florida Health said the patient in Hillsborough County traveled to Italy. This patient is also isolated and will remain that way until being cleared.
To ensure the virus remains controlled and that residents and visitors in Florida remain safe, DeSantis has issued a public health emergency in the state following the two discoveries.
Despite these cases in the bay area, the overall immediate threat to the public remains low.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as little as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. The virus can spread from person to person contact, through small droplets from the nose or mouth, according to the Florida Department of Health. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
While there is no current vaccine available to prevent coronavirus, Florida Health recommends to do the following to avoid spreading the disease:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
The news of these cases comes shortly after Washington state health officials announce the second US death from coronavirus.
State and local authorities stepped up testing for the illness as the number of new cases grew nationwide, with new infections announced in California, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, in addition to the Florida and Washington state cases.
DeSantis will be holding a press conference in Tampa Monday morning at the Florida Department of Health Tampa Branch Laboratory.