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Marion COVID-19 cases now total 17; residents urged to stay home

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

March 28, 2020



OCALA, Fla.—Marion County received reports of 8 additional cases of COVID-19 overnight; Marion now has 17 total cases of the virus. Ages of residents with cases now span from 19 to 88; 12 of those affected are Ocala residents; there’s one case each in residents from Belleview, Dunnellon, Ocklawaha, Summerfield, and an out-of-state visitor. Seven of the eight new cases report travel from either international or domestic locations affected by COVID-19.

“As we continue to see these numbers rise, it is important to remember that limiting travel and staying home unless you need to be out helps contain the amount of community transmission we could see,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “It’s especially important that if you over age 65 or if you have health issues that you stay home as you could be more vulnerable to COVID-19 if you were to get sick.”


COVID-19 testing is accessible at various places within Marion County. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms AND are over age 65, a healthcare worker, first responder, or who have recently traveled internationally or from impacted areas within the U.S. (i.e. New York tri-state area, Washington, California, Louisiana, etc.), are eligible for testing at the Department of Health in Marion County. To be tested by the Department of Health, individuals should call the Department of Health in Marion County’s 24/7 COVID-19 hotline (352-644-2590) to schedule an appointment.

If you don’t meet the above criteria for testing at the Department of Health and would like to be tested, please contact your primary care provider to see about the possibility of testing. If you do not have a primary care provider or if your primary care provider is unable to test, you can contact Heart of Florida Health Center (352-732-6599, or Langley Medical Center (352-680-7000, to see if you qualify for screening at their facilities.

Testing is also available in The Villages at a site set up by UF Health. To see about being tested at the site in The Villages, visit to complete a screening questionnaire.

Local hospitals also continue to test clients at their facilities. If you are experiencing symptoms and are in respiratory distress, call 911 or go to the hospital for emergency treatment. Share details with 911 dispatchers about your symptoms or call ahead to local hospitals prior to entering their facilities to ask them if you should follow special precautions due to your symptoms.

For more guidance

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Florida, visit For general questions about COVID-19, call the state hotline (866-779-6121), local hotline at (352-644-2590), or email Health care providers should continue to call DOH epidemiology staff if they have questions about testing.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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