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Broward County COVID-19 cluster nearly doubles in 1 day, officials say

Health officials: 20 new coronavirus infections in Broward

State confirms 25 new COVID-19 cases in Florida, many in Miami-Dade and Broward
State confirms 25 new COVID-19 cases in Florida, many in Miami-Dade and Broward

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Amid a spreading worldwide pandemic, Broward County’s newly confirmed COVID-19 cases nearly doubled in one day. About half of them include patients ages 19 to 27.

COVID-19 affects people differently. Epidemiologists say that while some of the infected are asymptomatic, the respiratory illness has been more deadly among patients with chronic health conditions and the elderly.

The Florida Department of Health announced early Saturday morning there are 20 positive cases of COVID-19 involving Broward County residents. Gov. Ron DeSantis said there were 11 cases on Friday.

Seven patients, ages 22 to 83, have cases under investigation and six patients, ages 28 to 75, have cases that were not related to travel. Authorities reported five cases were linked to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Several Metro Cruise Services employees who interacted with travelers at various cruise terminals in Port Everglades were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Several Metro Cruise Services employees who interacted with travelers at various cruise terminals in Port Everglades were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Seven other patients, ages 19 to 61, were travel-related cases. The group includes four cases related to trips to Europe. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Europe is the new epicenter of the global pandemic, which started in China.

“More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic,” Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

According to Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, a Town of Bay Harbor Islands’ employee who was diagnosed with COVID-19 after a trip was in contact with students. The woman worked in Miami-Dade County and lived in Broward County.

Broward County’s emergency center is partially activated. DeSantis said the Florida National Guard was ready to help Broward County.

"If we have National Guard support, they can help augment medical staff shortages, potentially expand resources and even potentially set up field medical clinics if that were needed to be the case,” DeSantis said, adding Broward County will be receiving more COVID-19 tests.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the Florida National Guard will be helping to improve the COVID-19 testing procedures.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the Florida National Guard will be helping to improve the COVID-19 testing procedures. (WPLG)

President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency Friday, which expended the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s powers and made $50 billion available for state and local authorities. The House approved an $8.3 billion aid package on Saturday morning that will now go to the Senate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects COVID-19 cases to increase nationwide. Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, warned the health crisis is just starting.

“We still have a long way to go,” Fauci told reporters on Friday.

The Saturday morning DOH reports showed the positive cases of COVID-19 in Florida had surged to 83 -- and include three deaths. Six were Florida residents diagnosed and isolated outside of Florida, seven were non-Florida residents and 70 identified as Florida residents.

Here is the list of COVID-19 cases in Broward County as of 12:54 a.m., March 14:

UNDER INVESTIGATION: 7 cases

  • Woman, 22, is a patient with a case that remains under investigation.
  • Man, 41, is a patient with a case that is under investigation.
  • Man, 58, is a patient with a case that remains under investigation.
  • Man, 59, is a patient with a case that remains under investigation.
  • Man, 65, is a patient with a case that remains under investigation.
  • Man, 70, is a patient with a case that remains under investigation.
  • Woman, 83, is a patient with a case that is under investigation.

NOT TRAVEL RELATED: 6 cases

  • Woman, 25, is a patient with a case that is not travel related.
  • Woman, 27, is a patient with a case that is not travel related.
  • Man, 65, is a patient with a case that is not travel related.
  • Man, 67, is a patient with a case that is not travel related.
  • Woman, 69, is a patient with a case that is not travel related.
  • Man, 75, is a patient with a case that is not travel related.

TRAVEL RELATED: 7 cases

  • Woman, 19, is a patient with a case that is associated with travel to Europe.
  • Man, 19, is a patient with a case that is associated with travel to Europe.
  • Woman, 20, is a patient with a case that is associated with travel to Europe.
  • Woman, 20, is a patient with a case that is also associated with travel to Europe.
  • Man, 36, is a patient with a case that is travel related.
  • Woman, 49, is a patient with a case that is travel related.
  • Man, 61, is a patient with a case that is travel related.

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