Florida health officials have announced they are deploying three field hospitals across the state in order to fight the coronavirus.
Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz said Tuesday night via email that one field hospital is currently being staged in Orlando, while the other two are being sent to Broward County and Ocala.
The news comes as the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Florida rises to 328 cases, with eight deaths confirmed.
The third field hospital will be set up in Ocala, north of Orlando, and moved elsewhere as needed.
Reminder- this is NOT a hurricane! Floridians do not need to prepare as if a hurricane is coming. DO practice social distancing to prevent the spread of #COVID19. Read more on social distancing – https://t.co/B23DIjXgM0 pic.twitter.com/RiEDbeul6i
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) March 18, 2020
Mobile COVID-19 testing is also being implemented in Broward, and the National Guard has been deployed to assist there. Broward has 80 confirmed cases.
Moskowitz added that he is working with federal officials to determine whether the state can add U.S. Navy Mercy-class hospital ships at Florida’s ports.
State officials also said they are responding quickly to cases being reported at assisted living communities in an attempt to prevent an outbreak similar to one that occurred at a Seattle-area nursing home, which has been linked to more than two dozen COVID-19 deaths.
“If a cluster of confirmed cases were to be discovered in Florida, the department would move quickly to engage with and isolate any infected individuals to prevent further spread,” said Alberto Moscoso, the state health department’s spokesman.