JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Among six new positive cases of the coronavirus in Florida announced by the Department of Health in the last 12 hours is a 63-year-old New York resident who visited Daytona Bike Week and is in St. Johns County. Another positive test came back Thursday from a patient in isolation in Seminole County.
This brings the number of identified cases of COVID-19 in Florida to 30, although some are awaiting confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Florida Department of Health said there are five other residents diagnosed and recovering out of state and 147 more COVID-19 tests were pending.
Three of the most recent cases were reported in a news release late Wednesday night, and another three were reported in an additional news release early Thursday morning.
According to the Department of Health, the 63-year-old New York man’s case is travel-related. He traveled from New York to Florida and was planning to attend Daytona Bike Week. A spokesperson told WKMG that the man never made it to any Bike Week events, and that he didn’t get to Volusia County. He is currently in isolation at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine. The hospital said those who came in contact with the patient have identified and notified.
“We are working very closely with the local and state departments of health as well as the CDC to assure that we take all appropriate precautions. Flagler Health has been proactively preparing for COVID-19 for many weeks and we are confident in our ability to effectively care for all our patients while maintaining a safe environment,” the hospital posted on its Facebook page.
Another two cases involve a 56-year-old man in Miami-Dade County, which was also a travel-related case, and a 70-year-old man in Broward County. The Department of Health said the 70-year-old attended an EMS conference in Tampa.
Two more cases involve a 57-year-old man in Lee County and a 65-year-old man in Broward County. It’s unclear whether the two cases are travel-related. The last case involves a 61-year-old man in Broward County, which was said to be a travel-related case associated with Port Everglades.
Midday on Thursday, the DOH said a test performed by AdventHealth in Altamonte Springs found a 68-year-old man in Seminole County had tested positive. That person had been part of a Nile River cruise that is also associated with several other cases in Florida.
The latest seven people, as with all diagnosed patients, will remain in isolation until they are cleared by public health officials.
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The governor Wednesday afternoon said 10 of the positive cases — including one of two fatalities in the state, a 71-year-old man from Santa Rosa County — involved people returning from a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt.
“We are not seeing community spread, but this is something we are watching very very carefully,” Florida Surgeon Gen. Scott Rivkees said at the news conference.
Meanwhile, public universities across Florida — which have some of the country’s largest enrollments — will move to remote instruction effective Monday. That step is intended to minimize health and safety risks to students and staff, especially as they prepare to return from spring break.
Earlier in the week, DeSantis declared a state of emergency, saying the action 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.
During a prime-time address on Wednesday, President Trump announced he is suspending all travel between the U.S. and Europe for 30 days beginning Friday. Around the same time, News4Jax learned the NBA was suspending its season until further notice.
In the entertainment world, Tom Hanks issued a statement revealing that he and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the virus.