Press Release

Castor Statement on Coronavirus Case in Hillsborough County

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Washington, March 2, 2020 | comments

"Last night we learned of the first two presumptively-positive cases of coronavirus in Florida, including one in Hillsborough County. The patient reportedly has a history of traveling to Italy, and is currently isolated at home while receiving care.

"The American people need a well-coordinated response to keep them safe and prevent the spread of the virus, so this week I will support a strong, strategic funding package for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and for expedited vaccine development. We must ensure that our health professionals have the tools they need for prevention, care and communication.

“I am told that all three Florida Department of Health labs — Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville — are now capable of testing for novel coronavirus. This is critical to addressing future cases, and keeping us all safe. Results can now be available within 24 to 48 hours. Thank you to our public health professionals here across Florida for being on the front lines for us and working diligently to care for and protect our community.

“There are some consistent recommendations for all of us to observe on behalf of ourselves and our families. The Florida Department of Public Health recommends washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Also, please stay home if you are sick.

“Florida could be more prepared, however, if the GOP-led legislature and state officials expanded health services under Medicaid and ended its federal lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions coverage and the millions of our neighbors who rely on affordable health insurance.  Florida is one of the last states to expand Medicaid and is leaving over $13 Billion of our tax dollars (over next five years) in Washington, D.C. – monies that could be used to ensure health services are available to hundreds of thousands of our neighbors and our hospitals.”

For our neighbors seeking additional information on how to protect themselves and their families, visit

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