Florida's fourth COVID-19 case is elderly Panhandle man, governor says

Florida has its fourth apparent in-state case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the governor’s office said this morning, announcing a new case in the Panhandle.

The latest patient is an elderly resident of Santa Rosa County with "severe" underlying health conditions who had recently traveled overseas, Gov. Ron DeSantis explained. He has tested positive for COVID-19, but the state is still waiting for the CDC to confirm the positive test result.

The man’s condition and status was not immediately clear.

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It’s Florida’s first case outside of the Tampa Bay area. A Hillsborough County woman in her 20s was diagnosed over the weekend after flying back from Italy; her traveling companion later tested positive as well.

The woman told FOX 13 that she had checked with the Centers for Disease Control during her layover in New York City. She claims they told her it was safe for her to fly, despite her showing symptoms of the virus.

Yesterday, Hillsborough County’s health director called her an "unsung hero" while defending her actions. He also explained that her fellow plane passengers had all been notified and those within two rows were being monitored.

Both women are in self-quarantine at home.

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A Manatee County man in his 60s also tested positive for the coronavirus. There’s no word yet about how he came in contact with it.

Aside from those cases, the governor said five Floridians who were traveling in China have tested positive for the virus, but they are in other parts of the country where they will remain until healthy.

A total of 69 test results are still pending, and 246 people are being monitored by the state.

If you feel sick

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website
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