Eight new cases of the new coronavirus have been diagnosed in Florida, bringing the state’s total to 21, health officials said.
In an email sent late Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health said the new cases include seven Florida residents and a Georgia resident who is currently in Alachua County, Florida.
The latest round of Florida residents who’ve tested positive live primarily on Florida’s west coast, in Collier, Pinellas and Pasco counties.
.@HealthyFla has announced eight new positive Florida #COVID19 cases. All individuals are being appropriately cared for and isolated. Visit https://t.co/e1S8bGoqIk for more information and #COVID19 updates— Florida Dept. Health (@HealthyFla) March 11, 2020
The health department said the latest patients include three Collier County residents: two women ages 68 and 64, and a 73-year-old man. Two men, ages 67 and 64, tested positive in Pinellas County. A 46-year-old man in Pasco County, north of Tampa, also tested positive. The other person diagnosed with the virus is a 68-year-old man in Nassau County, which is north of Jacksonville on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
All of the new cases in diagnosed in Florida are related to recent international travel, the health department said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, but it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia in older adults and people with existing health problems. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus within weeks.
The new patients and the others who’ve tested positive in Florida are self-isolating for 14 days as instructed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to the 21 cases of Florida residents diagnosed in the state, five other Florida residents are self-isolating out of state after being diagnosed elsewhere. Other cases involve a 22-year-old California woman who traveled to Italy with her sister and is self-isolating with her in Tampa, and a Georgia woman who will remain isolated in Alachua County until she is cleared by health officials. The Georgia Department of Public Health is leading the epidemiological investigation for her, the email said.
On Tuesday, officials announced that three employees of a company that greets cruise ship passengers in Fort Lauderdale tested positive for COVID-19, prompting officials to urge anyone who recently traveled through Port Everglades to isolate themselves for 14 days if they start experiencing symptoms, which include fever, a cough and shortness of breath.
[MORE COVERAGE: Here’s what we know about the coronavirus cases in Florida]
The three Broward County residents work for Metro Cruise Services at Port Everglades.
On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Monday, saying the declaration would enable the state to better marshal resources and get outside help as it confronts the growing public health crisis.
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