SWFL, state agencies, professionals stay updated as coronavirus cases in US increase

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
This undated photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. (CDC via AP)

Investigators are retracing the steps of a California woman. She’s believed to be the first person in America to have coronavirus virus (COVID-19) without traveling internationally or being in close contact with anyone who had it.

Investigators are now monitoring more than 8,000 people in the country.

The new case of COVID-19 in the U.S. sent stocks tumbling Thursday. But, Friday, stock futures look like they could rebound.

With the coronavirus concern growing, we now know doctors are taking extra precautions to keep their patients healthy. We looked at plans health professionals have to address concerns and realities of the virus in the U.S.

Local urgent cares and area hospitals are asking patients extra questions and following CDC guidelines extra closely. Those we spoke to said they are staying on top of every update as new details emerge surrounding the COVID-19.

“The State of Florida is doing everything they can to prepare and respond for the coronavirus,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a public address.

DeSantis assured the public that Florida isn’t taking any risks.

Meanwhile, health officials confirm a new case of the coronavirus in California, and they say the patient may have gotten infected here in the U.S.

“We know that there was a number of days that she was in her community, and that she then did begin accessing care,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the director of the California Department of Public Health.

The California patient is currently in isolation in Sacramento. Health officials are trying to trace her contacts.

“Step by step we look at where they’ve had, where they’ve been and who they might have been in direct communication with,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, a California state health officer.

More than 80,000 people have been infected by the virus worldwide, and Gov. DeSantis says none of the cases are in Florida.

“The CDC considers us to be at a low risk,” DeSantis said. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t want to plan for any potential transmissions.”

Local urgent cares are asking extra questions if you’ve traveled out of the country. Some are referring patients straight to the health department if you’re experiencing symptoms. And area hospitals such as Lee Health say its doctors have prepared procedures if the virus comes here

The department of health is encouraging everyone to visit its website for updates on cases and what you can do to protect yourself.

“This is a rapidly evolving situation,” DeSantis said. “And we’re carefully monitoring in conjunction with the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention and Department of Health and Human Services.

MORE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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