While the Coronavirus risk remains “low” for Floridians, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is currently monitoring 184 people to see if they have contracted the illness while providing details on the state’s first two presumptive positive cases.
During a news conference in Tampa on Monday, DeSantis said 23 people have been tested in the state, while 795 have been monitored overall.
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DeSantis offered details on the two positive cases in Hillsborough and Manatee counties.
The patient in Hillsborough County is a female in her 20s who recently returned from a trip to northern Italy, DeSantis said. She is in stable condition.
The patient in Manatee County is a male in his 60s, DeSantis said. It is not known how he contracted the virus.
Both remain in isolation, he said.
While there have been only two confirmed cases, DeSantis – who issued a public health emergency on Sunday -- warned more positive cases were likely.
“Despite these cases, the overall immediate threat to the public remains low,” DeSantis said. “With that said, we do anticipate that more will test positive, and we have taken additional actions to help contain the virus’ spread.”
DeSantis said the Department of Health is now able to test for Coronavirus Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami, with results available within 24-48 hours. Previously, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention conducted tests, which he said take five days to process.
Doctor's Hospital of Sarasota put out a letter to their patients Sunday warning that a patient was being treated for the disease.
The state's notification went out Sunday night - fully one day after health officials were aware of the situation. Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said that's because they have to send out samples to the CDC and are still waiting for the results, but they decided to inform the public.
“As soon as we became aware that this individual had COVID-19, measures were put in place in terms of containment and launching an evaluation of individuals,” Rivkees said.
DeSantis said he hopes additional funding for health care providers will be coming from both the state legislature and Congress.
This is a developing story. Stay with WUSF for updates.