Florida now has 216 positive cases of coronavirus, the Department of Health says

Additional positive cases of coronavirus have been announced in Florida, putting the state's total positive cases over 200.

As of Tuesday evening, the Florida Department of Health said that there are 216 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state. 21 of those cases are non-Florida residents who are isolated in the state. 

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On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis ordered bars and nightclubs across the state to shut down at 5 p.m. for 30 days.

Schools across the state are being affected as well, as all state universities will continue online classes only through the remainder of the spring semester. Florida public schools K-12 will also remain closed until April 15 and state testing is canceled for the remainder of the school year.

Also on Tuesday, it was announced that President Trump wants the government to send checks to Americans in the next two weeks in an effort to curb the economic cost of the coronavirus outbreak. An amount was not given and the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that millionaires would not get it.

The virus has officially been confirmed in every state in America as of Tuesday as well.

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On Saturday afternoon, the White House broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list. Under the restrictions, American citizens, green card holders and others are still allowed to return home to the U.S., but will be funneled to 13 airports and be subjected to health screenings and quarantine orders, according to two people familiar with the plan who spoke on Saturday. The ban goes into effect on Monday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State is advising all U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to COVID-19, especially as other areas of the world experience outbreaks and enact border restrictions. The Florida Department of Health advises that all individuals who traveled internationally follow the CDC guidelines, summarized by the department below:

  • "Level 3 Travel Advisory: CDC 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 Travel Advisory 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 they should call ahead to a health care professional or their county health department before seeking treatment.  According to CDC, a cruise ship is defined as a passenger vessel involving the movement of large numbers of people in closed and semi-closed settings."
  • According to CDC, a cruise ship is defined as a passenger vessel involving the movement of large numbers of people in closed and semi-closed settings."

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Coronavirus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces. Others can then contract the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then their eyes, nose, or mouth. 

As stated before, symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. They may show in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure, the Florida Department of Health says. Most people recover from COVID-19 without special treatment but the elderly and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness. 

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, so avoiding exposure is crucial. The department advises the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue.
  • Wash 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. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 

The CDC said that they do not recommend that healthy people wear facemasks. They should only be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people taking care of someone in close settings.

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. 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.

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Please visit the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage for information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida. For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-(866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.


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