No positive coronavirus cases in Orange County; dozens under observation

Gov. DeSantis: Risk remains low in Florida for COVID-19 infections

No positive coronavirus cases in Orange County; dozens under observation
No positive coronavirus cases in Orange County; dozens under observation

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – No one has tested positive for the coronavirus in Orange County, however, less than 30 people are under observation due to travel to affected countries, according to county health officials.

By mid-week, Florida had three patients who tested positive at the local level for COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus, two of those cases were confirmed in federal labs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tests for several people in Manatee and Hillsborough counties are pending related to those cases for people who came into contact with the infected patients, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

The governor was at the Department of Health Orange County office Wednesday and reiterated that Florida’s risk for coronavirus infections remains low, even with Florida’s large tourism industry that draws millions from around the globe.

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Florida Department of Health Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino said there are less than 30 people under observation in Orange County and all people tested for COVID-19 have tested negative.

There are 16 pending tests across the state, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The most at-risk population for the virus appears to be the elderly or people with preexisting health conditions, according to the World Health Organization.

In younger populations, the symptoms can resemble a severe flu, DeSantis said.

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DeSantis said his office has been communicating with Orange County assisted living and nursing homes to minimize the risks to those residents.

On the national level, Capitol Hill negotiators have reached an agreement on an $8.3 billion bipartisan measure to battle the coronavirus outbreak.

The House will vote on the deal Wednesday and Senate leaders are pressing for a vote in that chamber by the end of the week.

The bipartisan legislation includes: $350 million to aggressively go after the virus in “hot spots” like Washington state; $500 million to buy drugs, masks and other medical supplies for states, local governments and hospitals; and $1 billion to reimburse state and local governments for costs incurred in battling the outbreak.

More than $800 million would fund research into a vaccine, improved tests, and drugs to treat infected people.

According to the CDC, there have been 80 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. between 13 states. Nine patients have died.

Worldwide there are more than 93,000 cases and 3,100 death, according to WHO.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About the Author:

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Emilee hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious. Previously, she was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a web producer at the Naples Daily News.