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State Confirms Nassau County Coronavirus Case; 28 Florida-Related Cases Reported

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Bobby Caina Calvan
Associated Press
Gov. Ron DeSantis meets with reporters Monday after declaring a state of emergency due to the coronavirus.

A 68-year-old man in Nassau County has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  The state said the man’s case was travel related but did not provide more detail than that.

The Nassau County case is the first to be confirmed on the First Coast.

The Florida Department of Health late Tuesday announced eight new positive cases of coronavirus, with seven of the cases described as “travel-related” and involving Florida residents. The eighth is a Georgia woman who is in isolation in Alachua County.

Related: More Local And State Coronavirus Coverage

Three of the new cases involved residents of Collier County, according to the health department. 

In all, 21 Florida residents have been diagnosed in Florida with the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, a Department of Health news release said. Two have died.

In addition, two cases have been reported in the state that involve non-residents and five cases have been reported involving people who normally live in Florida but are isolated after traveling.

The virus, which was first documented in China late last year and has spread around the world, is particularly dangerous to seniors and people with underlying health conditions. Of the 21 Floridians cited, for example, 18 are at least 60 years old.

Seven of the new eight cases involve people between ages 64 and 73. One person who tested positive is a 46-year-old man. 

According to the Department of Health, in addition to the Nassau County man,  the new cases are

  • a 46-year old male in Pasco County; 
  • a 73-year old male in Collier County;
  • a  68-year-old female in Collier County; 
  • a 64-year-old female in Collier County;
  • a 67-year-old male in Pinellas County;
  • a 64-year-old male in Pinellas County;
  • and a 68-year-old female Georgia resident who is in Alachua County.

All eight are isolated and will remain in isolation until cleared by public-health officials.
The announcement of the new cases came a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency that broadened his powers to respond to COVID-19. Also, the Department of Health said three coronavirus cases have been associated with Port Everglades in Broward County, with all of the cases linked to Metro Cruise Services, a company that operates at the port.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. People can take precautions, including washing hands with soap and water after touching anything in public.

COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when people cough or sneeze. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. 

- WJCT's Bill Bortzfield contributed to this story