DOH Escambia says COVID-19 infections may have started 14 days ago

Inweekly has tried to find out why Escambia County has seen 63 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, May 29.

We received this response this morning:


We understand your concern about the rise in positive cases over the past week. It is necessary to keep in mind that the virus can take up to 14 days before symptoms appear in which the infected individual is still contagious. These positive cases could have been infected up to two weeks ago and just now started showing symptoms to prompt a COVID-19 test.

It is important to remind Escambia County residents that staying 6 feet apart, washing hands, avoid touching their face, eyes, and nose, only going out for essential trips, and wearing a cloth face covering are all ways to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Florida Department of Health continues to monitor the cases and provide data information for the state and local leaders to make Safe. Smart. and Step-by-Step decisions for reopening.

Thank you,


Christine Freer, MPH, CPH
Health Educator Consultant | Public Information Officer
Florida Department of Health in Escambia County

Inweekly is looking for a more detailed analysis.  I replied:

Thank you for your reply.

I understand the positive case could have been infected two weeks ago – May 15-18 – about the time the state approved vacation rentals in Escambia County, restaurants were allowed to go to 50% capacity, and gyms, fitness center, museums and libraries were allowed to open. Also earlier in that week, the governor had allowed barber shops and salons to reopen.

Are these reopenings and lessening of restrictions why our positive cases spiked?

What other data than the reports posted on the FDOH COVID-19 page has been given to local leaders to help them make decisions for reopening?

Thank you.