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Gov. Ron DeSantis directs Division of Emergency Management to activate to level 2 after virus deaths in Florida

A Level 2 activation is an intermediate-level and preparatory response

Gov. Ron DeSantis: Private companies will be providing COVID-19 testing
Gov. Ron DeSantis: Private companies will be providing COVID-19 testing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to activate to level 2 to coordinate the state’s COVID-19 and provide critical support to the Florida Department of Health and county health departments.

RELATED: Department of Health reports 2 Coronavirus deaths in Florida

The governor’s decision comes after Friday’s announcement from the DOH regarding two individuals who died as a result of the coronavirus and two new presumptive positive cases that were confirmed in Broward County.

Additionally, the DOH announced a new presumptive positive case in Lee County as well. The individual is isolated and being cared for, officials said.

“I have directed the Division of Emergency Management to activate to Level II to ensure our state has all the necessary resources engaged as we respond to COVID-19,” said Governor DeSantis. “It is critical that we proactively coordinate all state resources to mitigate the threat and contain COVID-19. I urge all Floridians to take necessary precautions and follow hygiene guidelines issued by the Surgeon General and Florida Department of Health.”

As of Friday, more than 260 individuals are being monitored for symptoms, either due to having close contact with someone who was diagnosed with the virus or because they’ve recently traveled to an affected area.

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus, there are steps every person can take to help lower the risk of spreading the virus.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

If you have questions on the coronavirus, News 6 has a doctor ready to answer them for you. You can submit a question here.

MORE: Here’s why you shouldn’t panic over the coronavirus

There is also a COVID-19 hotline. The Florida Department of Health has established a COVID-19 call center that can be reached at 866-779-6121. The call center is available to residents and visitors Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Questions can also be submitted to the department’s COVID-19 team via email at COVID-19@flhealth.gov.