Editor's Note: If you think you might have COVID-19, contact the Alachua County Health Department at (352) 334-7900 or the Student Health Care Center at (352) 392-1161.
Alachua County saw its highest one-day jump in positive COVID-19 cases today, now bringing the total number to 25.
The cases announced this morning at 11 p.m. are all Florida residents: a 23-year-old female, a 21-year-old female, a 56-year-old male, a 68-year-old male and a 62-year-old female, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The four new cases announced at 6 p.m. are a 55-year-old male, a 54-year-old male, a 23-year-old female and a 20-year-old female with a history of travel to New York.
The department’s dashboard shows that the state now has a total of 763 cases.
Thirty-eight percent of the county’s positive COVID-19 cases are in their 20s, according to the daily report. On Tuesday, Gov. DeSantis announced that four UF students had tested positive for COVID-19. But despite the ages of these cases, UF hasn’t commented recently if these are students.
After DeSantis announced the four UF cases to the state, UF updated its website to list details of the cases. But the university hasn’t updated whether or not there’s been confirmed COVID-19 cases at UF since DeSantis’ announcement Tuesday.
Last week, The Alligator asked UF spokesperson Steve Orlando several times if UF had cases of COVID-19 when the county’s second case, a 24-year-old, was announced. Despite UF providing details on its positive cases Tuesday after DeSantis’ statewide announcement, Orlando said last week that UF wouldn’t make any announcements, the health department would.
On Thursday, the county reported its first positive case not tied to travel. Since then, 11 cases have been reported as unrelated to travel or unknown to be travel linked.
Paul Myers, the administrator for the county department of health, confirmed that community transmission, or the spreading of a virus from an unknown origin, is now occurring in Alachua County and in other places throughout the state. He said individuals should “act accordingly.”
Myers said he couldn’t comment if any of these cases were UF students or faculty.
There are 28 pending coronavirus tests in the county, according to the department’s testing data, which also shows that there have been 361 negative tests.
As of 11 a.m. this morning, the state has a total of 658 cases — the majority of which are in South Florida.
UF Preview to be held virtually
UF New Students and Family Programs announced via social media Friday that Preview would be held virtually this summer.
Preview, which is UF’s new student orientation, is required for incoming students. The program faced controversy in 2019 when the Gainesville Sun reported that the university was breaking state statutes by charging more than $35 per a person for the program.
The post said that details regarding the new format would be sent to new students next week.
Shands is now treating two COVID-19 patients
UF Health Shands Hospital now has two confirmed cases of patients with COVID-19, a UF Health spokesperson confirmed to The Alligator late Saturday afternoon.
The first person to be treated at Shands for the virus was a patient from Georgia who was transported from another hospital, UF Health spokesperson Ken Garcia wrote in an email on March 11. The Georgia Department of Public Health was leading the investigation, he wrote.
As of Saturday evening, UF Health couldn’t give details on the second patient, such as their age, travel history or gender. Garcia also could not provide details on the condition of the first patient.
Despite nationwide blood shortages, UF Health confirmed that as of Saturday morning, its hospitals are not experiencing these shortages or conserving blood.
Alex DeLuca and Alyssa Feliciano contributed to this report.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)