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East County Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020 3 months ago

Manatee County public safety director: 'No need to panic' about coronavirus

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Jake Saur says threat remains low and Manatee County is ready to assist the Florida Department of Health.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Manatee County Public Safety Director Jake Saur said he expects cases of the coronavirus will increase over the weeks ahead, but the threat still remains low. 

“There is no need to panic,” Saur said. “The public should feel confident they can continue with their events, gatherings like a normal day.”

Saur briefed Manatee County commissioners and the public this morning before the start of a daylong workshop on transportation.

On March 2, a Manatee County resident was confirmed as one of two people in Florida officially to test positive for the coronavirus, also called COVID-19. The Manatee County resident does not have recent travel history to countries identified for restricted travel by the CDC: China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan. 

This patient did seek health care, is isolated at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials, Saur said.

Saur said Manatee County has a plan  to assist the Florida Department of Health in its efforts to contain the illness. He reiterated State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees' advice that anyone who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact the local health department prior to traveling to a doctor's office or hospital. They should also let the physician’s office know they are coming and believe they may have been exposed or have the virus.

Manatee County residents or visitors should call Department of Health’s local hotline at 242-6649 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. 

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, a Manatee County press release states.

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