NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Congressman Buchanan pushes for more coronavirus testing and transparency on a local level

Posted at 7:52 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 19:52:03-04

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Two people in Manatee County have tested positive for coronavirus - one, a man now recovering, the other an 81-year-old woman who recently traveled overseas.


U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan held a press conference on Monday in Manatee County demanding more transparency from local health departments who have, for the most part, not cooperated in answering questions by local media.

"They’re the ones on the front lines. They’re working with the hospitals. Same thing in Sarasota County. They came to my meeting before and they left at the time where we get a chance to talk to the press and the people, and I don’t think that’s appropriate," said Buchanan.

Buchanan is also calling for more testing on-site instead of sending samples away to testing labs and waiting days for results.


"We need to have 24-hour testing. We need local testing," said Buchanan.

Blake Medical Center in Bradenton is using preventative measures by screening people before they are allowed to enter the hospital. They’re asking visitors if they have a fever or cough, have traveled outside U.S., or been in contact with someone who has coronavirus.

"If the individual answers yes to any of those then they’re taken to the isolation room in the emergency department where they will be assessed," said Randy Currin, Blake Medical Center CEO.

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Doctors say the best preventative measures are the same steps in preventing the flu.