Nassau County monitoring whether there’s ‘some type of spread’ within community

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Three of the 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nassau County as of Wednesday evening do not appear to be travel related, and those patients also reported they had no known contact with a COVID-19 patient.

Those three patients are a 24-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 26-year-old woman, according to state and county data.

Of the eleven cases in Nassau County as of Wednesday night, six were in Fernandina Beach, three were in Callahan, one was in Hilliard and one was in Yulee.

The Nassau County Emergency Operation Center is now operating at Level 2 of 3, which means there is a heightened response of concern. According to county officials, they are not staffing the EOC 24/7, as they would in Level 1. But staff members are now working weekends and extended hours to ramp up response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyone, including employees, who enters the EOC has to be screened and cleared. A worker at the front entrance asks visitors about their travel history and takes their temperature.

News4Jax asked Emergency Management Director Greg Foster whether the non-travel-related cases mean the virus is spreading out in the community.

“Epidemiology, with the Department of Health, is still looking into what the particulars are,” Foster said. “But that is one of the things we’re keeping an eye on is if we are seeing some type of spread within the community.”

People are taking precautions because of that. Yulee shoppers could be seen Wednesday, wearing masks and gloves into the grocery store, such as Ivan Irizarry, who works at AT&T.

“With coming to work every day, we do deal with a whole lot of people and having to touch their phones, come in contact with a whole lot of people. I do have a newborn at home,” Irizarry told News4Jax outside the Winn Dixie in Yulee. “So just to take precaution for my family, might as well just wear it to be on the safe side.”

Nassau County does not have its own drive-thru testing site. The county is encouraging residents to use the Lot J site outside TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville if needed.

Nassau County has not issued a local stay-at-home order, however, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced there will be a mandatory statewide order that goes into effect Friday.

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