Gov. DeSantis: 4th Florida resident tests positive for coronavirus


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A fourth Florida resident has tested positive for the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference Wednesday.

“We got a call from the Department of Health in Washington state letting us know that it was a Florida resident. We believe it was somebody that had been traveling in Asia, probably in China, so they are under self-isolation," DeSantis said.

According to the governor, the patient is still in Washington and that person will be released from isolation when they test negative for the virus.

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Three of the people who have tested positive are in Southwest Florida. Two of the individuals are self-quarantined, and a third is quarantined at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota.

According to the Florida Department of Health website, 16 COVID-19 tests are awaiting results, and 24 people have tested negative for the virus. There are 247 people who are at risk of having been exposed to the coronavirus and who are monitoring their health under the supervision of public health officials, according to the health department.

The number of those being monitored includes close contacts of the people with confirmed laboratory results and those who have returned in the past 14 days from China, where the virus began.

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 11 on Wednesday with a victim succumbing in California -- the nation’s first reported fatality outside Washington state -- as officials, schools and businesses came under pressure to respond more aggressively to the outbreak.

Officials in Placer County, near Sacramento, said an elderly person who tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday after returning from a San Francisco-to-Mexico cruise had died. The victim had underlying health problems, authorities said.

Washington state also announced another death, bringing its total to 10. Most of those who died were residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, a suburb east of Seattle. At least 31 cases have been reported in the Seattle area, where researchers say the virus may have been circulating undetected for weeks.

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