Gov. DeSantis issues visitation limits at nursing homes, assisted living facilities & other Coronavirus updates
Tallahassee, Fl- Governor Ron DeSantis is issuing an executive order placing new restrictions on who can visit facilities that care for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Gov. DeSantis temporarily banned the following people from visiting nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult family care homes, long-term care facilities and adult group homes in Florida:
- Anyone infected with COVID-19 who has not received two negative tests
- Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
- Anyone who’s come in contact with an infected individual can’t visit the above facilities within 14 days of coming in contact with that individual
- Anyone who’s traveled internationally must wait at least 14 days from your return before visiting the above facilities
- Anyone who’s traveled on a cruise ship must wait at least 14 days from your return before visiting the above facilities
- Anyone who lives in a community where coronavirus has been confirmed must wait at least 14 days after exiting your community before visiting the above facilities. “These are important efforts to mitigate the risk to our most vulnerable population to COVID-19, which is our elderly population and particularly those who have underlying medical conditions,” DeSantis said.
The Florida Department of Health is reporting three new cases of coronavirus in the state.
The Florida Department of Health has announced three new positive cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Florida. To keep Florida residents and visitors safe and aware about the status of the virus, the Department is issuing regular updates as information becomes available.
New Positive Cases
- A 57-year old male in Lee County has tested positive for COVID-19. He is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. It is currently unclear whether this was a travel-related case; the epidemiological investigation is ongoing.
- A 65-year old male in Broward County has tested positive for COVID-19. He is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. It is currently unclear whether this was a travel-related case; the epidemiological investigation is ongoing.
- A 61-year old male in Broward County tested positive for COVID-19. He is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. This is a travel related case and is associated with Port Everglades.
Port Everglades Advisory
The Department, through an extensive epidemiological investigation, has identified four positive COVID-19 cases associated with Port Everglades in Broward County, Florida. Three cases are connected to or employed by Metro Cruise Services – a company that operates at Port Everglades. The epidemiological for the fourth person connected to Port Everglades is ongoing.
- The Department recommends all individuals experiencing symptoms who have recently traveled through Port Everglades to immediately contact their CHD or health care provider and self-isolate for 14 Days.
- The Department also recommends employees of Metro Cruise Services at Port Everglades with any association to these cases self-isolate at home.
- The Department is working to connect with all employees at Metro Cruise Services who may have come into contact with the three individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to provide the employees with the appropriate guidance and monitoring.
- The Department is working in close consultation with the CDC on this investigation.
- CDC recommends that individuals with recent travel history on a cruise monitor their health for 14 days and, if they develop symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact their CHD or health care provider.
EMS Conference and Daytona Bike Week Advisories
The Department, through an extensive, ongoing epidemiological investigation, has identified a positive COVID-19 case that may have been associated with Daytona Bike Week 2020, which is currently underway and scheduled from March 6-15, 2020, in Daytona, Florida.
The Department, through an extensive, ongoing epidemiological investigation, has identified a positive COVID-19 case that may have been associated with an EMS Conference held from March 4-6, 2020, in Tampa, Florida.
The Department recommends all individuals experiencing symptoms who attended either of these events immediately contact their County Health Department or health care provider and self-isolate for 14 Days.
What you Should Know
COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure. Most people recover from COVID-19 without needing special treatment. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes are more likely to develop serious illness.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The Department recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
- Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health;
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then disposing of the tissue;
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing;
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty; and
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
So far, the overwhelming number of infections in Florida so far are related to international travel. All schools in the Florida university system are ordered to conduct classes online as soon as possible. Public colleges are also being told to encourage students to go home for at least two weeks, or tell students going on Spring Break not to return to class for at least two weeks.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline is activated.
Attorney General Ashley Moody says businesses caught overcharging consumers for essential items, such as hand sanitizers and face masks, face fines of up to one thousand dollars per violation.
After a Utah Jazz player was diagnosed with coronavirus, the NBA suspended the season until further notice. The Magic were scheduled to host the Bulls tonight and the Knicks were to visit Miami tomorrow night.
President Donald Trump says he is sharply restricting travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days beginning Friday night as he seeks to combat a viral pandemic. Trump says the restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom and the U.S. will monitor the situation to determine if travel can be reopened earlier. The White House has also canceled a planned trip by the president to Nevada and Colorado this week, “out of an abundance of caution.”
Actor Tom Hanks confirmed on Wednesday that he and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for coronavirus while in Australia. Hanks posted an update on his Twitter account. “Rita and I are down here in Australia,” Hanks tweeted. “We felt a bit tired, like we had colds and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for coronavirus, and were found to be positive. Well, now. What to do next? The medical officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?