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This Report Updated Thursday March 27th 7:30 PM

Marion Jumps to 9 Confirmed Cases – 46 Dead in Florida From Virus

Marion County slipped to 9 confirmed cases of the coronavirus late Friday but all of the patients are recovering at home.  Statewide the numbers are rising as well with nearly 3200 confirmed cases now reported.  The death toll from the virus is also increasing statewide with 46 victims.  503 people are hospitalized across the state.  Near us Alachua County now reporting 57 confirmed cases.  To our south Lake/Sumter has a total of 56 combined cases with several hospitalized.  Levy County Friday recorded it’s first confirmed case of the disease.  Generally speaking, the metro areas of Florida are the hardest hit at this point and a good place to avoid.  Most beaches have closed but Volusia County beaches are open though we wouldn’t advise going.  With the weekend at hand, officials remind us to continue practicing social distancing.  Stay 6 feet apart, use hand sanitizer both before and after you go shopping, wash your hands, a lot, and above all, do not, under any circumstances, touch your face with your hands when you’re out.  The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. 

If you’ll remember, the University of Florida set up its first drive through testing facility down in the Villages this past week.  The test is available to anyone but an appointment through UF Health Systems is necessary.  The results of the first day of testing are in and UF officials say out of the 120 people with symptoms who were given the test, only two came out positive.  And those individuals were already self-quarantined.  University health officials call those initial numbers encouraging. 

Florida is now recording just under 2500 confirmed cases of the covid-19 virus.  29 people have now died from the disease in the Sunshine State with another 1700 being closely monitored.  Marion County should consider itself fortunate at this point.   We’re holding steady at 5 cases and all of those patients are recovering at home.  Gornor Ron DeSantis says we can probably expect the number of infections to rise more rapidly now that more testing sites have been established. 

COVID-19 symptoms and treatment

The symptoms of COVID-19 can mirror illnesses such as influenza. Patients with COVID-19 typically display symptoms such as fever (100.4°F or higher), cough, and/or shortness of breath within 2 to 14 days of exposure to the virus. Approximately 80% of those affected with COVID-19 report mild to moderate illness and experience a complete recovery. Some experience more severe illness. People who are more vulnerable to the illness include individuals who are over age 65 with underlying health conditions, immunocompromised, ill or have underlying chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Many cases of COVID-19 can be managed at home by treating symptoms, and this is encouraged. However, if you develop worsening symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or inability to drink fluids, contact 911 and advise them of your symptoms as you may need treatment at a hospital.

COVID-19 overview, symptoms, and general prevention

COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus; coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals. Other coronaviruses include the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 is believed to have emerged from an animal source and is now capable of spreading from person-to-person. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/ and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

Local Call Center Available 24/7

Individuals can call DOH-Marion’s COVID-19 call center 24/7 at 352-644-2590 for general questions about the virus. Individuals can also continue to contact the statewide COVID-19 hotline 24/7 at 866-779-6121 or COVID-19@flhealth.gov. Health care providers should continue to call DOH epidemiology staff if they have questions regarding testing.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

What you need to know now about COVID-19 in Florida

Adults 60 and older and those with underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are more likely to develop serious illness. Here’s what you can do right now.

Call before you go icon
Call before you go

Call your health care provider or County Health Department if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath and returned from international travel or a cruise in the last 14 days.Learn more

Wash for 20 sec. icon
Wash for 20 sec.

Wash hands often with soap and water – 20 seconds or longer (or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol).Learn more

Avoid touching your face icon
Avoid touching your face

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces.Learn more

Practice social distancing icon
Practice social distancing

If you are around other people, keep 6 feet between you when possible. Avoid hugs, handshakes, large gatherings and close quarters. Learn more

Marion County is pretty much surrounded by the coronavirus.  Alachua, Volusia, Citrus and now Lake Counties all have confirmed cases of Covid-19.  The latest is a woman in Lady Lake in Lake County.  She has been confined to her home.  According to reports, the woman went to an Express Care after falling ill and was sent to the hospital.  That means she could have potentially exposed all the workers at the Express Care to the virus.  The woman contracted the virus while traveling.

A spokeswoman for the Marion County Health Department has confirmed that several individuals have been tested for the virus in Marion, but none of those tests have come back positive, meaning we still have zero cases of the disease. 

 To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, The Florida Department of Health has launched a COVID-19 dashboard that will be updated twice daily. Today, as of 10 a.m., there are 192 total** total Florida cases.

One person has died in Broward County who tested positive for COVID-19. This death is associated with an Assisted Living Facility.

New Florida cases include:

  • 32 additional positive COVID-19 cases (31 Florida residents and 1 non-Florida resident) reported to the Florida Department of Health.
  • There are currently 173 positive cases in Florida residents and 19 positive cases in non-Florida residents.

Florida recently partnered with private laboratories around the state to expand COVID-19 laboratory testing capacity. This partnership will increase the number of tests conducted each day and ensure Floridians receive the critical health information they need in a timely manner.

Expansion to private laboratories changes the COVID-19 testing landscape in Florida. Private laboratories will run tests as they receive swab samples from practitioners. Testing and reporting times will vary among commercial and DOH laboratories. Demographic information may be updated during investigations. These twice daily reports reflect the state’s efforts to accurately and transparently share information. 

More information on a case-by-case basis can also be found here.

11 am

For more detail on Florida resident cases, please visit the live DOH Dashboard here

* Florida residents that are diagnosed with COVID-19 and isolated out of state are not reflected on the Florida map.

**Total cases overview includes positive cases in Florida residents and non-Florida residents tested in Florida.

More Information on COVID-19

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, please visit the travel advisory website.