MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Governor Ron DeSantis has confirmed a third presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Florida.
The most recent patient is the sister of the woman whose infection was confirmed on Monday in Hillsborough County. Both had been traveling together in Italy, one of the areas identified for restricted travel by federal authorities.
“She has been in isolation since this was all identified, the governor said.
According to Alberto Moscoso, a spokesman for the Florida Health Department, the 29-year-old Hillsborough woman had been traveling with her 22-year-old sister, a resident of California. He said the sisters were recovering in a home in the Tampa Bay area and were being closely monitored by health officials.
A third woman, identified as a roommate of one of the infected women, was under self-isolation and was being closely monitored, Florida health officials said, but had not shown any symptoms.
The second case confirmed on Tuesday was a Manatee County man in his 60s with no travel history to countries of concern. He has pneumonia and is hospitalized in stable condition. It is not known how he was exposed to COVID-19, but has been isolation and will remain there until cleared by health officials.
Meanwhile, Florida health officials expressed frustration that New York officials did not inform them of the infection of a New York patient who had traveled to Miami. Florida learned about the case through the news media.
“The New York case that was announced, apparently this individual traveled to Florida. That was not any information that had been provided to us. We found out through the press,” the governor said.
The 50-year-old lawyer from New Rochelle had no known travel history to countries with significant outbreaks of the new coronavirus, but had recently traveled to Miami.
“The department officials health is working with New York officials on doing what you do, tracing the contacts and trying to piece those together as part of the investigation,” the governor told reporters Tuesday.
Officials said the man was diagnosed Monday at a city hospital after initially seeking treatment at a hospital in suburban Bronxville. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s health lab performed the positive test on its first day of testing for the virus.
DeSantis said he was concerned about a potential surge in cases in his state, adding that he wants to be sure there is adequate personnel to respond.
This month is expected to be busy with several large events in Miami-Dade. Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CBS4 News there are no plans to cancel events like Ultra or The Fair.
“Go ahead and live your life normally. So, not to cancel these events. If conditions change, that decision may be reversed,” the mayor said.
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Cases of the virus have now been reported in 12 states — the majority of them in California and Washington, where nine people have died.
The FDA said Tuesday up to 1 million people could be tested for the coronavirus by the end of the week.
“My concern is as the next week or two or three go by, we’re going to see a lot more community-related cases,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a news conference Monday. “That’s of great concern.”
The number of cases has been on the rise as new guidelines from health officials gave more labs the go-ahead to conduct tests. Faulty kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially led to delayed and inconclusive results.
Over the weekend, the US Food and Drug Administration further expanded who could test for the virus by allowing additional labs to develop their own tests for the virus. The move, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said, would enable academic centers and private companies to develop and use tests.
With more labs testing for the virus, the CDC stopped publishing the number of patients tested in the country — a figure it had kept track of on its website.
“Now that states are testing and reporting their own results, CDC’s numbers may not represent all of the testing being done nationwide,” the agency said in a Tuesday email to CNN.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.)