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TALLAHASSEE — A third Florida case of coronavirus has been found, this one involving a woman living in Hillsborough County with another woman who already had the virus, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.
Health officials learned Tuesday morning that the woman has tested “presumptive positive,” meaning the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet confirmed the test.
The woman is isolating herself in Florida, DeSantis said. She and the other woman traveled to Italy, the site of Europe’s first outbreak of the virus, before returning to Hillsborough County, he said.
The governor’s spokeswoman, Helen Ferré, told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that the two women shared the same kitchen and bathroom, indicating they shared the virus with each other.
“What’s important to know is that it is someone who resided in the same location, the same residence,” Ferré said. “It’s not a random chance of someone catching, it’s pretty clear.”
DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Sunday following positive tests by the Hillsborough woman who was initially identified and a Manatee County man in his 60s, the first positive results in the state. The man was hospitalized with symptoms of pneumonia. Their test results were confirmed by the CDC on Monday.
State health officials expect more people to test positive for COVID-19, and state lawmakers are already discussing assigning additional resources to combat the virus. DeSantis has already had talks with House and Senate leaders about possibly hiring more people.
“I think the concern is if you have a surge situation in a part of the state, we want to make sure we have enough personnel there to be able to help administer that,” he said.
The amount could be between $10 million to $20 million, Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said Tuesday. The money would have to be assigned before the Legislative session is scheduled to end March 13.
DeSantis reassured that the virus is not affecting young and healthy adults, although he cautioned against people who are showing symptoms from entering nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
“If you don’t have an underlying health condition and you’re not elderly, so far, you’ve seen very few serious cases,” DeSantis said.
Miami Herald staff writer Ben Conarck contributed to this report.
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