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Pinellas, Pasco counties report first coronavirus cases

The Florida Department of Health says three cases are travel-related and of all the affected people are in isolation. Eight new cases have been confirmed Tuesday.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida health officials confirm eight new positive COVID-19 coronavirus cases statewide, including three in the Tampa Bay area.

The local cases are in counties that have yet to report positive cases until now: Pasco and Pinellas. All of them are travel-related cases, the Florida Department of Health said Tuesday night.

Health officials broke down where the cases are located:

  • A 67-year old male in Pinellas County has been identified as positive. This person is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. This is a travel-related case.
  • A 64-year old male in Pinellas County has been identified as positive. This person is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. This is a travel-related case.
  • A 46-year old male in Pasco County has been identified as positive. This person is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. This is a travel-related case.

The remaining five new cases include people in Alachua, Collier and Nassau counties. In Alachua County, the case there involves a Georgia resident in Florida.

Earlier Tampa Bay-area COVID-19 cases include a 63-year-old man in Manatee County who did not have a known history of international travel and a 29-year-old Hillsborough County woman who did have a history of such travel.

RELATED: Coronavirus in Florida: Latest updates

Local, state and government officials continue to stress the overall risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, and the risk can remain low if people continue to practice basic hygiene methods.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced code enforcement, police officers and Tampa Fire Rescue will visit 83 assisted living facilities and eight nursing homes in the coming days to make sure residents are protected from COVID-19.

The elderly population and people with existing health conditions are said to be at greater risk for contracting the virus.

Other companies and institutions are taking additional proactive approaches, including universities like Harvard, which is moving classes online, and the University of South Florida, which is postponing gatherings of greater than 100 people. 

On Tuesday, the "Dr. Phil" talk show announced it will tape without a live studio audience, joining programs like "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune."

RELATED: How coronavirus concerns are impacting Tampa Bay area events

RELATED: Because of coronavirus, prepare to answer more questions next time you call 911

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