Florida coronavirus cases are now confirmed

Image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow), also known as 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, an agency of the National Institutes of Health

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed two reported cases of the deadly coronavirus in Florida, the first two cases emerging in the state.

Alberto Moscoso, of the Florida Department of Health, told the Florida Phoenix that the two cases have switched from “presumptive positive” — a label used late Sunday evening — to confirmed, on Monday.

The difference is that the tests were positive for coronavirus, according to public health labs. But the CDC still had to confirm. The two individuals were tested positive in Manatee and Hillsborough counties; they’re currently hospitalized.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been anticipating more cases and social media has been claiming that cases exist but have not been reported. One of those was considered a Pinellas case but the Phoenix called the Pinellas Health Department and was referred to the state health department, which didn’t provide any information.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, who represents Sarasota and Bradenton, met with health officials at the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota where a person is being treated for a presumptive positive case, according to a press release from Buchanan on Monday.

It’s unclear if that patient is connected to the reported individuals that had been recently confirmed by the CDC. And the Florida Phoenix reached out to Buchanan’s communication staff but hasn’t received a response as of yet.

During that meeting, Chief Executive Officer Robert Meade of the Sarasota hospital and other health specialists, told Buchanan that the hospital was treating the situation as a confirmed case of the virus and subsequently, “taking every precaution possible to limit exposure to others,” the press release said.