Department of Health Confirms First Two Cases of Coronavirus in Florida


The Florida Department of Health has confirmed the first two presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the state. Health officials revealed one of the patients is located in Hillsborough County, while the other is in Manatee County. According to health officials, both individuals are isolated while the CDC works to confirm each case. 

Governor Ron DeSantis released this statement: “I have been working with federal partners and our Department of Health to ensure that communities are ready to handle the challenges presented by COVID-19. The dedicated professionals at our county health departments, as well as those working at local medical providers, are well equipped to address these and future cases. State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees has taken appropriate, decisive action to help affect the best possible outcomes, and I will continue directing our state agencies to do whatever is necessary to prioritize the health and well-being of Florida residents.”

State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees added, “This is the scenario that we prepare for every day in public health. The Department is moving forward with the appropriate plans, and we are working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local medical providers to ensure these individuals receive the proper treatment and that anyone who has come into contact with them is following the necessary protocols, limiting or stopping any further spread. Thanks to Florida’s integrated public health system, we have been able to proactively engage and plan with our public health partners at every level, enabling us to take these important steps in a very expeditious manner. Our epidemiological teams are among the best in the nation, and they are right now aggressively pursuing every potential lead during these critical early moments of this outbreak in Florida.”

The Hillsborough County patient had recently traveled to Italy, while the Manatee Count patient did not have a travel history to countries dealing with a coronavirus outbreak. 

For more on COVID-19 and the two presumptive positive cases here in Florida, click here.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.