A 10-year-old boy in Southwest Florida has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. He was one of 23 new coronavirus cases that tested positive in the Fort Myers area on Wednesday, and someone strikingly young for an area that originally had most of its cases in people aged 65 or older.
Officials in Southwest Florida say the boy recently traveled to Colorado, but claim the child had no contact with anyone who has also had the virus, according to WINK News, the CBS affiliate in Southwest Florida.
There’s a notion that only elderly people, or those with underlying health conditions, are more likely to contract COVID-19. More than half the cases in Southwest Florida have been patients over the age of 65. However, cases overall in the state are surging, with nearly 300 new cases reported Wednesday morning, bringing the state’s total to 1,977 so far with 23 deaths. Florida is a popular tourist destination and 122 of the Florida’s positive cases have been from out-of-state residents.
The child who tested positive Wednesday is in Lee County, which is home to more than 730,000 people spread across Fort Myers, Cape Coral and other outlying areas and barrier islands on the Gulf of Mexico.
Three people from Lee County have already died from coronavirus. The county has listed 52 people with coronavirus. In the beginning, most of those were age 65 or older, but of the last 18 people who tested positive, only four were over 65. Twelve of the new cases hit people under the age of 55, including eight people who were 40 or younger.
The heaviest-hit parts of Florida are the Tampa area and the Greater Miami region—excluding Monroe County and the Keys.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week has called for screening passengers on all flights from the New York City area to Florida, saying New York City and the tri-state area has become the world’s newest hot spot, and that many are fleeing the area now that a shut-in has been put in place.
Florida is not under a statewide shelter-in-place order, though many residents have called upon the governor to enact one. DeSantis left it up to the individual counties and cities. Lee County’s commissioners voted Wednesday to not implement an order.
There have been more than 54,000 positive cases in the United States, including more than 735 deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday afternoon.