Luther K. Wilkins, MSV
Facing a growing public health crisis, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis declared a state of emergency Monday to better marshal resources and get outside help against a new strain of coronavirus that has killed two people in his state.
In announcing the move, the governor again appealed for calm.
At a news conference Monday afternoon at the state Capitol, the governor urged Floridians to take common-sense precautions and stressed that normally healthy individuals remain at low risk of contracting the virus. He specifically cautioned the elderly and those with underlying health conditions not to go on cruise ships and long-haul flights, and to avoid large gatherings.
DeSantis said the emergency declaration allows for what he called a unified command structure to limit the spread of the virus and to allow the state to more effectively mobilize resources.
“It also allows — if need be — out-of-state medical personnel to operate in Florida,” he said. “It allows us to more swiftly purchase any necessary supplies, including masks and materials and equipment necessary to set up field hospitals.”
Watch the full news conference below:
State health officials on Monday night announced a new confirmed case in Florida, a 60-year-old woman in Volusia County. They said she is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. Officials said she has a history of recent travel outside of the United States.
As of Monday at 8:29 p.m., the Florida Department of Health released the latest numbers on coronavirus below:
COVID-19 Testing Results
– 13 Florida residents diagnosed
– 5 diagnosed and isolated in another state
– 1 confirmed positive non-Florida resident isolated in Florida.
- 115 tests in state results pending
- 140 negatives
- 1,104 people monitored to date
- 302 of 1,104 are currently being monitored