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County reports first COVID-19 case

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com

Gulf County has its first coronavirus case.

The Florida Department of Health in Gulf County received notification Wednesday of a positive case of COVID-19 in Gulf County.

The individual is a 42-year-old female and the case is considered directly linked to international travel.

"We are working closely with the patient, close contacts and healthcare providers to ensure proper precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Sarah Hinds, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin and Gulf Counties.

“The individual followed CDC guidance related to travel and self-isolation. The patient self-isolated in her home and stayed home prior to having any symptoms. I want to stress that social distancing is key to protect those who are most at risk – individuals over 65, individuals with compromised immune systems and individuals with underlying medical conditions.”

Public health efforts at this time are focused concurrently on containing the spread of this virus and mitigating the impact of this virus, Hinds said in a release.

A technique called contact tracing is frequently used during such efforts. Contact tracing tracks and prevents the spread of disease. Infectious disease specialists work to find everyone who has been in contact with the positive case. Persons identified to be at-risk through the contact tracing process are interviewed, evaluated, and educated on their risk factors and what to do.

DOH-Gulf encouraged our residents and visitors to take steps to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19. Everyone can do their part to help. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus.