HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) – Governor Ron DeSantis, the State Surgeon General and the State Health Officer have declared a public health emergency after two people in Florida tested only "presumptively" positive for coronavirus.
The two individuals who are residents of Manatee and Hillsborough County exhibited symptoms of the virus. Health officials are still working to confirm these cases. The declaration comes after authorities announced the second coronavirus death in the state of Washington Sunday night.
The governor has issued Executive Order 20-51 that permits a statewide response to the coronavirus. Under this order, the Florida Department of Health will be the leading agency to coordinate and administer emergency responses.
The state health department can also monitor and quarantine individuals that meet the Center for Disease Control's definition of a Person under Investigation (PUI) for at least two weeks. The two "presumptive" cases in South Florida fall under this category and will subsequently undergo a risk assessment and daily temperature checks.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in a statement that he aims to find funding for federal resources in response to the coronavirus.
“The health and safety of every Floridian, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, remain my highest priority," Rubio said. "I will continue to work with the Trump Administration and Governor DeSantis to ensure our state has the resources and information it needs.
Governor DeSantis will host a press conference Monday at the Miami-Dade Department of Health building to address coronavirus concerns.