Bay Co. Health Dept. discusses their first positive COVID-19 case

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Coronavirus has had its first confirmed case right here in Bay County. The county received confirmation of its first positive case of COVID-19 early on Saturday morning.

The confirmed person with the virus is a 47-year-old male and a non-Florida resident from Texas.

Health Department Officer and Administrator, Sandon Speedling said the Department of Health is now conducting its contact investigation and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period if they had contact with the confirmed individual.

However, the one confirmed case is not the only person in question.

“16 negative cases, five are pending, and the one positive case so that’s a total of 22 PUI’s, persons under investigation that we have right now that we know of right now,” said MHS and CPM Sandon Speedling.

The Health Department shares that they are not mass testing, but prioritizing individuals who meet the correct screening criteria.

“If someone feels that they’re sick or experiencing symptoms, call their provider or call the health department first,” said Speedling.

In addition to the Health Department itself and hospitals testing individuals, there are also four private physician sites that are testing people showing symptoms, and now, there are even more test kits coming to Florida.

“Governor Desantis announced that the state has ordered an additional 2,500 test kits. These additional test kits will enable the Department of Health to test and health care providers with the possibility to test up to an additional 625,000 individuals,” said Speedling.

But health officials don’t see the state going into lockdown mode.

“We’re not as heavily and densely populated here in the panhandle as you would find in Los Angeles or in New York,” said Speedling.

They are still advising residents not to travel if you can avoid it.

“Individuals really don’t need to be traveling anywhere, they need to stay at home,” said Speedling.

Right now they are still trying to investigate just how this confirmed individual got the Coronavirus. They are not sure if it was by community contact– as it was not listed as travel related.

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