DeSantis declares public health emergency after Florida records first coronavirus cases

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a public health emergency after confirming the state’s first two “presumptive positive” cases of the coronavirus.He held a news conference in Tampa Monday morning.


The Hill reports Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a public health emergency on Sunday after two residents in separate counties tested “presumptively positive” for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The two individuals reside in Manatee and Hillsborough counties, respectively. The resident from Manatee County is an adult who has no history of traveling to the countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised against visiting in response to the recent outbreak, according to the Florida Department of Health. The second person does, however, have a history of traveling to Italy, where authorities have confirmed 1,694 cases of the virus.

The state agency said both patients will be isolated until they are cleared by officials.

In the executive order declaring the emergency late Sunday, DeSantis said he is designating the state’s Department of Health “as the lead state agency to coordinate emergency response activities among the various state agencies and local governments.”