Two People in Florida Die From Coronavirus as U.S. Cases Continue to Rise



Florida Reports 2 Deaths From Novel Coronavirus

In Florida, two people who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, becoming the first fatalities on the east coast and bringing the death toll in the U.S. to 17, health officials said. In total, more than 340 cases have been reported in more than half of all U.S. states.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a Level II Public Health emergency in the state following news of the two fatalities. They were both in their 70s and had recently traveled overseas, the Florida Department of Health said. At least one of the deaths involved a man with underlying health issues.

Another eight people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida.

Officials say the risk for people in Florida of catching the virus remains low as most of the cases in the U.S. have been found in Washington, New York and California.

At Least 21 People on Cruise Ship Held Off Coast of California Test Positive for COVID-19

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that 21 people aboard a cruise ship anchored off the coast of northern California have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Of the 21 passengers who tested positive, 19 were crew members and 2 passengers. Another 24 people tested negative, and one test came back inconclusive.

There are some 3,500 passengers and crew currently aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is currently being held off the coast of San Francisco.

Pence said that the passengers will be brought into port over the weekend and tested, adding that "Those who need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who require additional medical attention will receive it."

Health officials became concerned about a possible outbreak on board after a passenger who was aboard the vessel for a cruise in February died from the virus. After the Sacramento-area man disembarked, the cruise ship continued on another voyage, with some of the passengers remaining aboard. Two other passengers aboard the voyage have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Two other passengers from Canada also tested positive for the virus after they returned home.

"It's important to note that the Grand Princess was actually on its second tour and we know of coronavirus infections from the first tour as well, with very, very difficult results," Pence said.

Hotel Building in China Used to Quarantine Coronavirus Patients Collapses, Trapping Dozens

A hotel in southeastern China that was being used to quarantine people who had contact with coronavirus patients, collapsed Saturday, trapping dozens of people.

According to Licheng District's local government officials, some 70 people were trapped inside the debris, with another 23 who were rescued from the rubble. There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

The 80-room hotel building was being used by the government to observe people who'd previously come into contact with coronavirus patients, the Community Party news paper People's Daily.

Globally, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 3,400 people and infected nearly 102,000, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organization.

Photo: Getty Images

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