By: Felipe Rivas
2 min read March 2020 — As an increasing number of countries experience outbreaks of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, Florida leaders are urging residents to stay calm despite two confirmed cases in the Sunshine State. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed two people in Manatee and Hillsborough counties having tested positive for COVID-19, the Palm Beach Post reported. “Despite these cases, the overall immediate threat to the public remains low,” DeSantis said, according to the newspaper. State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees advised residents to stay calm. “You can go about your normal business,” he said.
As of Tuesday, there have been 124 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. While there have been no confirmed cases in Palm Beach, the county and municipalities are monitoring the situation closely. Town of Palm Beach officials, fire rescue personnel and law enforcement have been actively monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus since it was first discovered in Wuhan, China, the town of Palm Beach said in a press release.
The town of Palm Beach public safety personnel have reviewed and adjusted their emergency response plans in full compliance with CDC and the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) recommendations, and are prepared to handle any potential coronavirus impact in our community should it occur, the municipality announced.
Currently, Palm Beach County schools function as normal, though the district is ramping up its cleaning methods in all schools, the Palm Beach Daily News reported. The district is buying additional bleach and wipes to disinfect surfaces throughout the school system. The cleaning initiative will be re-evaluated at the end of March “to determine if continued intensive cleaning is warranted,” the newspaper reported.
In its risk assessment, the CDC reports that most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to the virus. The COVID-19 virus is not spreading widely in the United States; however, updates are to follow, the CDC reported. There is no vaccine, so prevention is the best approach, the town of Palm Beach advised. The town recommended residents to wash hands often, avoid the touching of eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible, and to seek out the flu shot if not done already, among other precautions.
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