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Health Department monitoring people who had close contact with Nassau coronavirus patient

The Department of Health says a 68-year-old Nassau man with history of travel has tested positive

YULEE, Fla. – The Nassau County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting Wednesday evening after a resident tested positive for coronavirus.

During the presentation at the Emergency Operations Center, Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel, director of the Nassau County health department, reviewed the key characteristics and concerns surrounding COVID-19 but declined to give many specifics about the case in Nassau County, citing the man’s right to privacy.

“We’ve received many questions about the single case’s circumstances, and we appreciate the desire to have more information in order to determine your potential contact to a COVID-19 case," she said. "However, it is important to balance the privacy of individuals with the responsibility to disclose information that we really hope will protect the public.”

The Florida Department of Health announced that a 68-year-old Nassau County man with a history of travel was among eight new patients with confirmed cases of the virus.

Ngo-Seidel said the man, who was not identified, was quickly self-isolated and those who came in close contact with him were also identified and received instruction on isolation and monitoring.

Ngo-Seidel said she was unable to disclose more specific information like where the man had traveled, his condition or if he had underlying health issues. She did say he will remain isolated until he is cleared by the Health Department.

The Health Department continued to urge Nassau County residents to stay informed, practice good hygiene and contact the department if they believe they are at risk of infection.

“We do want the public (in Nassau County) to contact us at 904-875-6100 if they believe they meet the exposure risk, which right now is considered close contact with a confirmed case or travel to an at-risk area,” Ngo-Seidel said.

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Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel, director of the Nassau County health department, briefs the Nassau County Board of Commissioners about the latest coronavirus updates.
Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel, director of the Nassau County health department, briefs the Nassau County Board of Commissioners about the latest coronavirus updates. (News4Jax)

Meanwhile, people in Nassau County with loved ones in nursing facilities and retirement homes say they are experiencing tighter regulations over visitors.

“They are taking a lot of precautions. They also eliminated having a buffet and they are asking people to eliminate the amount of guests that come in,” said Phyllis Bernhard whose mother is at a retirement campus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that he’s closing visitation at assisted living facilities and nursing homes to people showing any symptoms of the virus, and to anyone who had the virus and hasn’t had two consecutive negative tests.

Businesses in Nassau County are also beginning to take precautions themselves, warning sick people to stay home.

Across the Florida-Georgia border, the Georgia Department of Public Health is monitoring a presumptive positive case of the virus in a Charlton County resident. Additional details have not been released.


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