State announces five Florida patients tested positive for coronavirus in one day

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Health officials say 11 Florida residents have tested positive. Two have died.

Florida officials confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in the state on a single day.

A day after officials announced the first two East Coast deaths from coronavirus occurred in Florida, patients in five different counties tested presumptively positive Saturday.

The latest case originates in Manatee County. The Florida Department of Health revealed the news Saturday evening.

“The individual is isolated and being appropriately cared for,” officials wrote in a statement on social media.

That capped a day in which the number of diagnosed Florida residents with coronavirus nearly doubled.

Officials in Lee County on Saturday morning confirmed a second case of COVID-19. The news came hours after the state revealed a woman who died at Gulf Coast Medical Center Thursday had the virus.

Later, officials in Charlotte County revealed an individual in that county had also tested positive.

Then Department of Health officials in the afternoon confirmed two new cases, one in Okaloosa County and the other in Volusia County.

Whether because of an increase in the number of individuals getting tested or simply a wave of positive tests being returned in the state’s three Department of Health labs, the results showed the virus spread much further in the state than previously reported.

Just Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference in Collier County told reporters no new positive tests had come back. That event came just a couple hours before officials revealed a known coronavirus case in Santa Rosa County had died, and that a previously undisclosed case in Lee County has the same outcome.

But officials stressed the release of information had been slow in part because privacy laws prevent the disclosure of patient’s medical information until tests confirm a public health threat.

As of Saturday evening, the state had 17 confirmed positive cases on COVID-19, according to the Health Department. Of those 11 were Florida residents, including the two patients who died. One individual was a non-resident tested positive in the state. Five more cases are individuals who contracted the virus out of state but were repatriated and remain in isolation.

State officials say there are 87 tests still pending, and 107 tests that have come back negative. Since the beginning of the coronavirus threat, public health officials have monitored 1,018 individuals, of whom 278 are currently being monitored.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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