TAMPA (WFLA) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is now confirming two people in the Tampa Bay Area have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees appeared at a morning news conference in Tampa to talk about the positive test results and other cases in the state involving the disease.
“If you look at this virus, the vast, vast majority of people who acquire it will not require hospitalization,” said DeSantis.
However, the disease does pose a more severe risk to older Florida residents and people with underlying health conditions.
People with heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes or who suffer from obesity may be at risk for more serious complications if they are exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
The Florida Surgeon General says symptoms may not show up in a person until two days after they are exposed and in some cases may not show up for 14 days after initial exposure.
Dr. Rivkees revealed Monday morning that state health officials first learned of the positive test results for the Bay Area residents on Saturday evening.
The Florida Department of Health then refused to answer questions about the positive test results until 24 hours later.
Rivkees refused to answer questions at a media briefing if he believes the delay in releasing the information put the public’s health in greater danger. Rivkees says more than 800 people in Florida have been placed in quarantine as a result of exposure to the disease. Many of those people traveled to Mainland China and then returned to Florida.
The U.S. Government is issuing strong travel advisories to people going to China, South Korea, and Iran. People traveling to Japan are also being warned about the potential exposure to the virus.
The Florida Department of Health is urging anyone who has been exposed to the virus or exposed to someone who has traveled to one of the severely impacted areas to stay at home if they start seeing symptoms.
People are being urged to all their county health department before they go to a doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency room for treatment.
Dr. Rivkees says the vast majority of people who test positive for the disease will not suffer severe consequences.
“80% of individuals will be treated and observed at home. Up to 15% of individuals may have a more severe case requiring hospitalization, up to 5% of individuals this may be especially severe,” said Rivkees.
People who are exposed to the virus may experience symptoms similar to the flu. Some will have elevated temperatures, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Anyone with those symptoms, even if mild, is asked to call their local department of health.
Governor DeSantis says he believes the state is on top of the virus, but he does expect more cases.
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