The Florida Department of Health has reported two presumptive positive cases of coronavirus ( COVID-19) on Sunday, March 1, 2020. According to health officials one patient is a Hillsborough County resident, while the other is said to be a resident of Manatee County. Both patients have been isolated and are being appropriately cared for.
In light of the cases, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a public health emergency. In the executive order declaring the emergency, DeSantis said that he will be directing the “State Health Officer to take any action necessary to protect the public health” and added that the official “is authorized and directed to use his judgment as to the duration of this public health emergency." The public health emergency issued in Florida follows similar alerts issued in parts of California and more recently in Washington state in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.