Seminole emergency management director says health department isn’t providing real-time coronavirus information

Alan Harris says number of cases is actually higher

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Seminole County director of emergency management says the number of positive COVID-19 cases being reported by the Florida Department of Health is not up to date and that the number of people infected with coronavirus is much higher -- especially in his county.

Alan Harris said he brought it up during a morning conference call with the state Department of Health.

“It is not accurate,” Harris said.

Right now, Seminole County is reporting at least six cases: two positive and four presumptive positive cases but the state website only shows four.

“The private labs are coming online and as the private labs come online, we’re going to get the numbers faster than Tallahassee,” Harris said.

Harris said the delay in the Department of Health reporting positive coronavirus cases could be off by as much as a week. Private labs send out their test results via FedEx straight to Tallahassee.

Harris said the private labs are seeing more and more positive cases as more and more people are getting tested.

“There are a lot more people that have COVID-19 in the community than we know because there just weren’t test kits available. Test kits are just now coming online,” Harris aid.

But he is still urging citizens to not just show up at medical facilities unannounced.

“Don’t just walk into an urgent care clinic, don’t just walk into an office, because what you could do is quarantine a nurse and that could be catastrophic in this situation. We need to protect our most valuable resource and right now our most valuable resource is the nurse,” Harris said.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.