ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health is advising all individuals who have traveled internationally to Level 3 countries (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) to self-isolate for 14 days following their return to the United States.
Health officials urge international travelers to follow the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The guidelines are as follows:
- Level 3 (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea): Mandatory 14-day self-isolation and practice 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 (Japan) and Cruises: Monitor your 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.
The Florida Department of Health initially said all international travelers should self-isolate, but lawmakers like State Rep. Anna Eskamni called out the agency, saying the department needed to "get it together".
The U.S. State Department is also urging American citizens, especially those with underlying conditions, to not travel on cruise ships.
As of Monday night, there are 14 positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida.
There have been two deaths so far in Florida due to the coronavirus. Both were in their 70s with underlying health conditions.
Florida Governor DeSantis has activated a Level II to coordinate the state's response to COVID-19. He asks that critical support be provided to the Florida Department of Health and county health departments.
“I have directed the Division of Emergency Management to activate to Level II to ensure our state has all the necessary resources engaged as we respond to COVID-19,” said Governor DeSantis. “It is critical that we proactively coordinate all state resources to mitigate the threat and contain COVID-19. I urge all Floridians to take necessary precautions and follow hygiene guidelines issued by the Surgeon General and Florida Department of Health.”
The symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Symptoms sometimes don’t show for two to 14 days after infection.
To prevent exposure, avoid contact with people who are sick. Health officials advise that you also regularly and effectively wash your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, cover sneezes and coughs with tissues, and stay home if you are sick.
If you display coronavirus symptoms, you should contact a local health organization and make them aware of your condition prior to arrival while also following specific instructions or guidelines they may have.
It may also be beneficial to wear a face mask prior to an appointment. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 and let them know if you have been infected or believe that you may be.
If you are infected, a medical professional or another authority will likely advise that you remain isolated while sick. This includes staying at home and not going into public places or large events.