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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Surveillance and Investigation

Florida Health

Disease Control


Guidance for Surveillance and Investigation of COVID-19


Key Points:

  • Epidemiologic risk for novel coronavirus continues to be exclusively travel to Wuhan City, China or contact with a confirmed case or PUI for COVID-19.
  • Sign and symptoms requirements are fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
    • Absence of fever does not rule out a PUI, however this is dependent on the individual circumstance.
  • Please discuss all investigations of potential PUIs with your regional epidemiologist and laboratory liaison ( or the BOE on-call epidemiologist at 850-245-4401 after hours.
  • All available recommended specimens (see guidance) for COVID-19 PUIs will be sent to BPHL and shipped to CDC for testing. In the coming weeks, we expect BPHL to obtain testing capability.
  • All PUIs must be entered in Merlin quickly to obtain testing at CDC.
  • Guidance on this response is expected to change rapidly.
Visit the CDC website for additional information on infection control in health care and home settings. Basic infection control and self-isolation for outpatient PUIs is important. Please be familiar with these requirements.