Months Before Florida Leaders Had Any Clue, Coronavirus Was Creeping Through The State
It was March 1 when Florida announced its first two cases of the novel coronavirus, a 29-year-old Hillsborough County woman who had traveled to Italy and a 63-year-old Manatee County man. But buried in data recently published by the Florida health department is an intriguing revelation: The spread of COVID-19 in Florida likely began in January, if not earlier.
State health officials have documented at least 170 COVID-19 patients reporting symptoms between Dec. 31, 2019, and February 29, according to a Miami Herald analysis of state health data. Of them, 40 percent had no apparent contact with someone else with the virus. The majority had not traveled.
At least 26 people who contracted COVID-19 started showing symptoms in late December or January — and at least eight of them both had not traveled and did not have contact with another person infected by the virus. The trend continued into February.
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.
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