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DOH confirms Collier County COVID-19 cases are self-isolating

Posted at 9:02 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 14:22:05-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.  — The Department of Health confirms three people in collier county have tested positive for Coronavirus, COVID-19.

These cases involve two women, ages 64 and 68, and one man, 73.

"They are international travelers. These cases were not acquired locally," said Kristine Hollingsworth, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health in Collier County.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF CORONAVIRUS

Hollingsworth could not confirm where in Collier County the three individuals live or if there is a link between the cases.

"The patients currently who have tested positive for COVID-19 are at home," said Hollingsworth.

A decision made based on the patients' conditions.

"Being isolated at home or being at a healthcare facility depends on what your symptoms are and how severe they are," said Hollingsworth.

"The more severe your symptoms are, the more likely you'll be kept at a health care facility."

Hollingsworth confirmed these patients are being monitored by health care professionals via telephone, while the isolation is in place.

"We've been in contact with these patients as part of an epidemiology investigation," said Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth says the patients were tested at the Department of Health in Collier County. The test samples were then sent to state labs in Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville.

"People being isolated in their own home, they're staying in their house, they're staying in the comforts of their own home, they're not traveling out into the community," said Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth says self-isolation will end once the patients don't show symptoms and test negative for 24-hours.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, fever, and cough.

The Health Department continues to encourage the community to take steps to stay protected, such as washing your hands thoroughly.

One of the groups most susceptible to COVID-19 is adults 70 and older. That's creating big worries for nursing homes and older care facilities.

For this reason, the Naples Senior Center is taking extra safety measures.

Earlier this week, Naples Senior Center announced it would cancel several of their high volume activities this week.

One of those events is their weekly lunch event.

"The reason we made that decision is because we can have between 150-200 people here for lunch, and that is in very close quarters," said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, president of Naples Senior Center.

The center has cleaning staff working to keep surfaces clean and sanitized, but this weekend a cleaning company will deep clean the facility.

Additionally, the center is telling visitors and volunteers to stay home if they are feeling sick or have traveled within the past 14-days.

"We do receive calls from seniors who tell us that they're going to take a break while this is going on, whether because they feel they're compromised or they're living with someone who is compromised," said Faffer.

Although the center has seen a drop in attendance, it will keep smaller programs running.

"But we get many more calls from seniors and visitors who tell us they're thrilled we're here for them to come to and pursue their usual activities," said Faffer.