Study shows evidence of COVID-19 spread in the Villages


  • Photo via The Villages/Instagram
University of Florida health experts say they see “initial” community spread of the novel coronavirus in The Villages.

The findings are predicated on the results of 2,280 people who were tested last week by UF Health Medical professionals at a testing site at the sprawling retirement community in Central Florida. In all, 25 people tested positive, including two who were asymptomatic.

“These results show evidence of initial community spread; however, it does not appear to be widespread, at least so far. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation,” Michael Lauzardo, a doctor and deputy director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, said in a prepared statement.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced last week that the university over a five-day period would test people who signed up using a website. Testing for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, also was made available to asymptomatic residents who didn’t meet testing requirements set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 900 asymptomatic people were tested over the five days, with two positive results. Another 1,400 people who met the CDC testing guidelines were tested, yielding 23 positive results. While not large in number, 65 percent of the positive results came from people who were tested later in the week.

“While a week is a short period of time, the fact that we saw increases in the number of positive tests as the week progressed raises concerns that the infection is just beginning to take hold in the community,” Lauzardo said in the statement.

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