Startling revelation: Coronavirus was creeping through Florida months before leaders had any clue

MIAMI — It was March 1 when Florida announced its first two cases of the novel coronavirus, a 29-year-old Hillsborough County woman who had traveled to Italy and a 63-year-old Manatee County man. But buried in data recently published by the Florida health department is an intriguing revelation: The spread of COVID-19 in Florida likely began in January, if not earlier. State health officials have documented at least 170 COVID-19 patients reporting symptoms between Dec. 31, 2019, and February 29, according to a Miami Herald analysis of state health data. Of them, 40% had no apparent contact with ...


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