In a substantial increase, the Florida Department of Health late Thursday reported 15 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.
Five of the new cases were in Broward County, while two were in Palm Beach County and two were in Sarasota County.
Alachua, Volusia, Duval, Clay, Hillsborough and Lee counties each had one new case, according to a news release from the Department of Health.
The virus, known as COVID-19, can particularly affect seniors and people with other medical conditions. Seven of the new cases involved people at least 68 years old, but other cases involved a 20-year-old, a 24-year-old and a 25-year old.
Three of the cases involved people from other states --- New York, Massachusetts and Texas --- who were in Florida.
In all, the Department of Health said the state has had 42 cases of Floridians who tested positive for COVID-19 in the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis this week declared a state of emergency because of the respiratory disease, which started late last year in China and has spread across the world.