Florida has reported a third case of coronavirus infection, this one in Hillsborough County, site of one of the two previously confirmed cases.
The “presumptive positive” case was awaiting confirmation Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. That means a Florida public health laboratory test returned a positive result for the virus.
“There’s now a third presumptive positive case in Florida,” Alberto Moscoso of the Florida Department of Health told the Florida Phoenix in a telephone interview.
In a press availability on Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the new patient is related to the young Hillsborough woman in her 20s who previously tested positive for the virus after traveling to Italy, an infection hot spot. The other confirmed case involved a Manatee County man in his 60s whose source of infection was unknown.
“We received, which we expected, a presumptive positive test for COVID-19 that’s going to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and it is the sister of the young female who traveled back from Italy,” DeSantis told reporters.
“She has been in isolation since this all was identified and, again, that was something that was contemplated. There is a roommate in addition to the sister who is in isolation that has not been symptomatic yet,” DeSantis said. “That’s something that’s monitored.”
DeSantis cited evidence published in the New England Journal of Medicine that, among people in China testing positive for the virus, all were individuals over age 15.
“Now that doesn’t mean [younger people] can’t get it, but it suggests that perhaps they’re resistant to it,” he said. “Or the symptoms are so mild that they are not even registering.”
The Republican governor stressed that elderly people are more susceptible to COVID-19. “We’ve been issuing guidance to the nursing home community and assisted living facilities,” he said.
“You should not be having people entering those facilities who are exhibiting any types of symptoms. And you really need to be forward-leaning on that. We believe our elderly population will be more vulnerable.”