JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Eight new cases of the new coronavirus have been diagnosed in Florida, bringing the state’s total to at least 21, the Florida Department of Health announced late Tuesday night. The new cases include a 68-year-old Nassau County man and a 68-year-old Georgia woman in Alachua County.
Both people have been isolated and will continue to remain in isolation until they are cleared by public health officials.
The other positive cases included three people from Collier County, two people from Pinellas County and one person from Pasco County. Seven of the new eight cases involve people who range in age between 64 and 73. One person who tested positive is a 46-year-old man.
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.
Late Tuesday evening, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said in a news release that there were five new presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia.
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Meanwhile, another Princess cruise ship has been given federal permission to dock in Florida after testing of two crew members cleared them of the new coronavirus and U.S. health officials lifted a “no sail” order. A Princess Cruises spokeswoman, Negin Kamali, said in an email Tuesday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave permission for the Caribbean Princess to return to port on Wednesday.
The CDC has advised all disembarking cruise ship passengers to monitor themselves for 14 days, and immediately self-isolate if they experience symptoms while contacting medical professionals for treatment.
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.
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.
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.