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Department of Health in Marion County reports 18th COVID-19 case

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

March 28, 2020


OCALA, Fla.—Marion County received notice of its 18th positive case of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, today. The person ill with the virus is a 74-year-old male Marion County resident. The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is now conducting its contact investigation and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period.

Ages of residents with cases spans from 19 to 88; 13 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 nine new cases reported today had recently traveled from either international or domestic locations affected by COVID-19.

The Department of Health urges you to limit travel and to stay home as much as possible, especially if you are age 65 or older or experience health issues that could leave you more vulnerable to COVID-19 if you were to get sick. These types of social distancing measures, when combined with everyday preventative actions like frequently washing your hands, regularly cleaning high touch surfaces, staying home if you are sick, staying away from others who are sick, and covering your coughs and sneezes, helps reduce the risk of the illness spreading in the community.


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.