Florida death count rises to 13 as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Florida has 830 positive cases of the COVID-19 virus, as of the Florida Department of Health update posted at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 22.

• Okeechobee County has tested 16 people with no positive tests, 13 negative and 3 pending. The 16 people tested included 7 men and 9 women and ranged from age 13 to 84

• Hendry County has tested nine people. Seven tests were negative, two are pending. Those tested included 7 men and 2 women, ranging in age from 21 to 85.

• Glades County still has not had anyone tested for the COVID-19 virus.

• Highlands County has one confirmed case, a 78-year-old woman. Ten people have been tested, 8 tests were negative, one is pending. The 3 men and 6 women tested ranged in age from 1 to 79.

• Palm Beach County has 59 persons who tested positive, 358 negative and 11 pending. The 199 men and 223 women tested range in age from 1 to 104. One person in Palm Beach county, an 88-year-old man, has died related to the COVID-19 virus. Fifteen are hospitalized.

• Martin County has 1 person who tested positive, 34 negative and 2 pending. The seven men and 30 women tested range in age from 11 to 98.

• St. Lucie County has 2 positive, 71 negative and 3 pending tests.

• Osceola County has 22 positive, 144 negative and 65 pending. Those tested range from 0 to 97 and included 99 men and 128 women.

More Information on COVID-19

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

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 sneezing into 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.

The CDC does not recommend that asymptomatic, healthy people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

A person that experiences a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, within 14 days after travel from any other destination with community transmission should call ahead to their health care provider and local CHD and mention their recent travel or close contact.

If a person has had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from this area or been in contact with a person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, he or she should call ahead to a health care professional and the CHD. The health care provider will work with the Department to determine if the person should be tested for COVID-19.

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