Three COVID-19 cases in Santa Rosa, 1,171 in Florida

School officials have confirmed that a 17-year-old diagnosed with COVID-19 March 20 was attending classes at the Learning Academy of Santa Rosa prior to diagnosis. 

The boy is the third individual to test positive for the illness in Santa Rosa County according to the Florida Department of Health. The student had no travel history and no known contact with a confirmed case.

Previously a 71-year-old Santa Rosa County resident who traveled to Egypt died from the illness. The second known case in the county is a 48-year-old man who traveled to the United Kingdom.   

Learning Academy Executive Director Ray Sansom said they immediately alerted staff and family of students after discovering the student tested positive for the disease. 

The student attended classes at the academy March 6, 11 and 12, and parents indicated he may have been showing symptoms at that time.

“We were not aware of that possibility until March 20,” Sansom said. 

The Florida Department of Health has made phone contact with nearly all families of those that attended or worked at the school, providing information about what to look for and when to seek help. Health officials will be making home visits to families that have not been reached by phone. 

Sansom said they have taken additional precautions at the school as well.  Per state mandate, classes will not resume in person until at least April 15. In the meantime, Sansom said they have done a thorough cleaning of all school facilities and buses. 

Another deep clean is planned for right before classes would resume, if they resume in person at all this semester. 

Sunday evening it appeared Santa Rosa County had it’s fourth case of COVID-19, but that has since been retracted by the Florida Department of Health.

Reports of a 33-year-old with no prior contact to known patients were put out by the department via their web dashboard and daily report. Both gender and travel history of the individual were unlisted, but the person was listed as being from Santa Rosa. That case was later removed from the departments reporting matrix.  

When asked about the change, the state emergency department wrote in an email, “as epidemiological investigations are ongoing, data is provisional and subject to change.” Request for further clarification from state officials has not been answered.

As of 3 p.m. March 23, Florida had 1,171 positive cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths from the illness according to the Florida Department of Health. 

Based on data from local health departments, Florida has the fifth most cases of any state in the U.S. 

States with most cases (March 23, 12 p.m.)

1. New York15,168
2. Washington1,996
3. New Jersey1,914
4. California1,849
5. Florida 1,171

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