Two Florida seniors who had traveled abroad have become the state’s first residents to die from the novel coronavirus, the Florida Department of Health announced late Friday.
One of the deaths involved a 72-year-old Santa Rosa County man who had previously been disclosed as having the virus. The other death involved a Lee County resident, whose case had not been disclosed. The department did not immediately release the Lee County resident’s gender or age, saying the person was “in their seventies.”
Both died following international trips. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that the Department of Health was conducting an investigation of the Santa Rosa County resident’s illness but that the man was “not in shape to fully answer all the questions.”
In the announcement late Friday, the department also said two Broward County men had been identified as “presumptive positive” for the contagious virus, known as COVID-19. One of the men is 75 years old, while the other is 65, and both will be in isolation until cleared by public-health officials.
In presumptive positive cases, results have been found positive by state labs, but confirmation is still needed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of Florida-related coronavirus cases has steadily increased, after initial announcements last weekend. The Department of Health website listed 12 positive cases, with six involving Florida residents in the state, five involving residents out of the state and one non-resident who is in the state.
The state also had 88 pending test results, and 278 people were being monitored, the Department of Health website said late Friday. Another 100 tests had been negative.
COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, and has spread to dozens of countries, with cases popping up in various U.S. states. The virus can be particularly danger for seniors and people with other medical conditions. There is no vaccine to prevent the virus.
“Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath,” the Department of Health said in the announcement late Friday. “Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from the COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.”
Earlier Friday, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier sent a memo to health insurers advising them to consider “all practical options to reduce the barriers of cost-sharing for testing and treatment” of COVID-19.
“Consumers may seek a variety of forms of healthcare in connection with COVID-19, including, but not limited to, physician office visits, laboratory testing, urgent care services, and emergency services,” Altmaier said in the memo. “It is important to remove actual or perceived barriers to testing for COVID-19. Consumers could be reluctant to seek testing or treatment due to other anticipated costs.”
–News Service of Florida
Our federal government has failed us regarding rolling out the Coronavirus testing. . . were the delays political or possibly “for profit” motive??? Please read this article thoroughly and forward widely:
And you want them in charge of healthcare don’t you? The government failed long ago Sherry. You do realize CONGRESS has failed to pass a budget since 1996, one of their primary jobs. The us govt has been on continuing resolution in all those years since. So yes the federal government has failed. As a retired federal employee, I could tell you about many of their failures, and that is why I certainly do NOT want the Federal government involved with my medical care. Trust me, I am also a disabled veteran, and if you would like a little awakening to single layer systems you can come along to the VA clinic one time, you may have a change of heart. For the record, there have been vast improvements in the VA since the newest President took office. I have been going to the VA for 20 years and I can tell you he bad it was for the last Admin, as well as Bush’s before. Careful what you wish for.
There is a confirmed case in nearby Volusia County.
Just to put this thing in its proper perspective: The CDC recently announced that so far in the 2019/20 flu season, TWENTY THOUSAND Americans have died. So chill.
How can this be. The Orange blob on the Hill said it was a HOAX.
Gary R says
@Really – President Trump says that Democrats are using the virulent coronavirus as a “hoax” to damage him and his administration. “The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus,” he said from a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina. “This is their new hoax.”
Cutting funding for the CDC for tax cuts was a great idea, at least we can feel good the rich got more money to hoard.
Bit funding was in fact not cut, and for the record, the Congress is in charge of funding, not the prwsident.
Gary R says
I am not rich and I got more money.