Marion County has doubled its number of COVID-19 patients in 24 hours on the same day that Florida topped the 4,000 mark in positive test results.
The county received notice late Saturday that an 18th person had tested positive for the Coronavirus. He was identified as a 74-year-old man with no travel history nor contact with anyone suffering from the potentially deadly virus.
The ages of the Marion County patients range from 19 to 88, with an average age of 53. Twelve are women, six are men and two currently are being treated at area hospitals. Thirteen of them live in Ocala, with one each residing in Belleview, Dunnellon, Ocklawaha and Summerfield.
Fifteen of the Marion County patients have reported traveling recently to destinations that included the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Puerto Rico, New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Texas, South Carolina and other parts of the Sunshine State.
All told, there were 96 positive cases across the tri-county area among 49 women and 47 men. Their ages range from 18 to 92 years old, with 24 patients currently hospitalized.
Sumter County reported its 40th positive Coronavirus test, including 33 residents of The Villages. Those testing positive include 21 men and 19 women. Their average age is 66, and 13 are hospitalized. Besides The Villages, others testing positive reside in Lake Panasoffkee (3), Bushnell (2), Wildwood (1) and Webster (1).
Eighteen of the Sumter County patients recently have traveled abroad and domestically. Their destinations included Egypt, Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos Islands, New Jersey Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, Texas, California, Louisiana, Vermont and other locations in Florida.
Lake County is reporting 38 positive cases among 34 residents and four non-residents with an average age of 54. Twenty are men, 18 are women and nine are hospitalized. Ten of those patients are being reported in Leesburg – it’s unclear if any of them are being treated at UF Health Leesburg Hospital – with another eight in Clermont, three in Eustis, two in The Villages, two in Tavares and one in Mount Dora.
Sixteen Lake County patients reported traveling recently to multiple locations including Belize, the Caribbean, Spain, Mexico, Africa, the Netherlands, Europe, New York, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia and other areas in Florida.
As of Saturday night, there were 4,038 cases of the Coronavirus in the Sunshine State, which includes 3,877 residents. A total of 41,769 tests have been conducted in Florida, with 10 percent testing positive, 37,720 coming back negative and 11 labeled as inconclusive. There also have been 56 deaths and 567 patients currently are hospitalized.
The Florida Department of Health is encouraging all Floridians to limit their travel and stay home as much as possible – especially those who are age 65 or older or those experience health issues that could leave them more vulnerable to COVID-19 if they were to get sick.
These types of social distancing measures, when combined with everyday preventative actions like frequently washing your hands, regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, staying home if you are sick, staying away from others who are sick and covering your coughs and sneezes, helps reduce the risk of the illness spreading.