FLORIDA — After weeks of seeing the spread of coronavirus continue across the world and into Florida -- now Central Florida has its first presumptive case of coronavirus.
It’s one of several new cases being identified around the state by the Florida Department of Health.
- New "presumptive positive" cases, including 1st in Central Florida
- State Dept. warns against traveling on cruise ships
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According to the Florida Department of Health, a 66-year-old Volusia County woman has been identified as a presumptive positive case of coronavirus. Florida DOH also reported presumptive case of coronavirus in Okaloosa County with a 61-year-old woman.
Both are being isolated, public health officials said. They also both reportedly have traveled outside the U.S. recently. No other information about the women has been released.
Twelve Florida residents have tested positive for the virus. Two people have died in the state.
The Florida Department of Health announced a new positive COVID-19 case in Broward County with a 67-year-old man. He is being isolated.
There’s no vaccine to prevent coronavirus, but health officials have shared ways you can help prevent the spead of the illness like avoiding contact with those who are sick, avoiding touching your face, and covering your cough or sneeze.
Federal officials said 2.1 million tests will be sent out by Monday and 4 million to be shipped by the end of the week.
Travel and Cruise Ship Concerns
The State Department is discouraging U.S. citizens who have underlying health issues from traveling on a cruise ship, according to a travel advisory issued Sunday. Scientists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk of being infected by COVID-19 is higher on cruise ship environments.
The Regal Princess cruise ship was being held off the coast of Florida Sunday as the ship waits for test results on whether two crew members have contracted the new coronavirus.
The crew members in question had transferred from the Grand Princess cruise ship in California where nearly two dozen on board have tested positive for the virus, including 19 crew members.
The Coast Guard delivered testing kits to the Regal Princess on Sunday morning and the CDC issued a “no-sail order” for the ship.
It is unclear how many people are on board, but it has a capacity of 3,560 guests, according to the cruise line’s website.
The federal government has also issued a "level 3" travel warning for Italy and South Korea, which is the second highest warning, advising only essential travel to these countries.
Lower advisories have been issued for Japan and Hong Kong, while China remains at "level 4."
Response from Lawmakers
U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Florida), who represents Volusia County, sent Spectrum News the following statement that reads in part: "While the overall risk to the public remains low and it is unlikely most of the population would suffer serious complications from the virus."
Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida) was in Orlando this weekend and weighed in on the first case in the region.
“We have been concerned about this virus long before the first case showed up in Central Florida," she said.
The Congresswoman says she's doing everything she can at the federal level.
“As you know, the House of Representatives just passed an $8.3 billion package the president signed last week, so we need to continue to utilize our resources," Demings said.
Her overall message to Central Florida residents is not to panic.
"Listen to your local and state officials, your government officials, as well as the health experts (from) Center for Disease Control. Listen to experts,” Demings urged.
Meanwhile, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida) was at the Port of Tampa Sunday. He said dealing with the coronavirus is all a matter of using common sense and staying informed.
"If you have a chronic issue and your immune system is compromised, you (should) really stop and think about (if) you be going on a cruise ship. Should you be flying? Where should you be?" the U.S. Senator said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.