ORLANDO, Fla. - As positive cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Florida, the Governor is calling for more tests to be done, bringing in 2,500 new kits this weekend, which can test about 625,000 people for COVID-19.
Three more Floridians tested positive for COVID-19, the Florida Department of Health announced Thursday, bringing the total of cases in Florida to 29.
The Florida Department of Health announced that four new positive cases of coronavirus on Thursday. They include a 57-year-old man in Lee County, a 65-year-old man in Broward County, and a 61-year-old man also in Broward County.
It is not clear if the 57-year-old man and 65-year-old man got it through traveling. The 61-year-old man though is a travel-related case. He is associated with Port Everglades. Earlier this week, officials said there three employees of a company that works at Port Everglades who tested positive for the new coronavirus.
The fourth was announced after the three prior. A 68-year-old man in Seminole County was the first in his county to test positive. The case is also related to travel.
All four patients are isolated and will remain so until cleared public health officials, the department said.
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health show that there are 30 people in the state with positive cases of coronavirus. Three of these are not Florida residents. The cases span over 15 different Florida counties. Five other Florida residents have COVID-19 but are isolated in another state. There have been two coronavirus deaths in Florida so far. They were both elderly patients with underlying conditions. 476 people are currently being monitored.
Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about the new cases on Thursday morning, assuring residents that he has a plan in place to combat COVID-19. It includes give primary areas of focus: protect the vulnerable, increase testing capabilities within the state, increase social distancing measures, protect health care workers, and continue monitoring international and high-risk travel.
DeSantis added that the state will receive 2,500 commercially available kits this weekend, which will be distributed to qualified labs throughout Florida. With these, 625,000 people can be tested for COVID-19. However, these testing kits do not include sample and swab materials though. There is currently a nationwide shortage of those materials and while many labs across the state already have a supply of them, the number of tests that can be performed will be dependent on materials in stock.
DeSantis is also advising that everyone keep themselves distant from others. To assist in this, all state agencies have been directed to maximize remote working and telecommunicating. All official travel for state employees is also suspended for 30 days. Even visitation at Florida prisons have been suspended. DeSantis encourages that mass gatherings in Florida be postponed and that if they are not, organized screening matters should be in place.
Health care workers must be protected throughout this all. However, if Florida has a shortage, contracts have already been secured for nurses to be brought in.
On Wednesday, Governor Ron Desantis announced an executive order that will help protect the elderly citizens of Florida. They are much more vulnerable to COVID-19 than younger, healthier individuals and officials are working to ensure their safety. The state remains in a state of emergency as well.
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.
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