BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Vice President Mike Pence visited Port Everglades a day after it was announced Broward had its first presumptive cases of coronavirus.
The VP’s trip was already scheduled. He was in Broward to meet with cruise line executives to beef up measures to keep travelers safe.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was a part of the round table. But while speaking to reporters, he addressed the two presumptive positive cases.
“We think there was employment with or contracted with one of the cruise lines here checking people off the ship,” he said.
The governor confirmed what two sources confirmed to CBS4’s Jim DeFede. One of the men who tested positive at a state lab is affiliated with the port.
Officials with Port Everglades are not commenting on the information. Instead, they referred CBS4 to the state.
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As of Saturday morning, the governor has not been briefed much on the county’s other case.
State health leaders are working to track down who the people may have come across.
“They will be isolated-self isolated for 14 days. In that 14 day period, if they develop symptoms, then they will be tested.”
The Florida Department of Health is not releasing much information about the two cases. It’s still unclear when they developed symptoms and how many people they interacted with before being isolated.
The governor also announced airlines are releasing information to CDC regarding international flights. That information is being used to communicate with other passengers who may have been near a person with COVID-19.
The vice president was pleased with national guidelines for testing. He even touted the access to testing.
“Now, doctors can prescribe tests to anyone regardless of their symptoms,” Vice President Pence said.
But despite those guidelines, in Florida it’s not that easy.
“You should have a basis of doing it. If you’re just a regular, random person. You’re healthy. You don’t need to go in and get tested for coronavirus. We want to make sure the resources are being used well,” the governor said.
The vice president also announced upcoming plans to prevent the virus from spreading on a ship. There are plans to enhance entry and exit screening, testing on ships, new quarantine standards, and have cruise lines come with a protocol to transport sick passengers from the ship to a medical facility on land.
The governor also answered why southwest Florida residents learned a person had the virus a day after their death.
“The individual tested positive yesterday evening. That was put out immediately. She had passed away the day before but there was no link to Covid-19, so it would’ve been irresponsible to say that that was the case without having a presumptive positive test,” he said.
The state has private contractors on standby to help with testing. Right now, leaders say the state has enough test kits.
Broward isn’t canceling any major events but that could change Tuesday after a commission meeting.
“This is quite serious. Taking it very serious,” a woman said.
With so many questions about the presumptive cases left unanswered, people are Broward told us they’re worried.
“Trying to see if other people are sick, staying away from them. Wash my hands,” one father said.
“Everyone should be more careful touching everything,” another woman said.
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