TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health announced Monday evening that there are now 13,629 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the state.

That total includes 254 deaths linked to the virus as well as 1,720 people hospitalized.

Among the new cases announced Monday was the first confirmed case in Hamilton County, a 56-year-old female from Jennings that had close contact with an existing case.

Also announced Monday morning were 13 additional cases in Suwannee County. Those cases included 10 females, ages 20, 29, 33, 39, 40, 43, 59, 64, 76 and 84 years old; and three males, ages 67, 74 and 74.

Out of Suwannee County’s 31 cases, the health department said 29 of the cases had close contact with an existing case and are all related cases. The state shows 24 of the cases are staff or residents at a long-term care facility.

The Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County and Hamilton County are now conducting their contact investigation and working on identifying and notifying individuals who will need to self-monitor for symptoms for a 14-day period. Contact investigations are a critical way for staff epidemiologists to track and prevent the spread of disease.

In all 46 people have been sampled for testing from Hamilton County with 44 tests returned negative. One person is still awaiting test results.

“We anticipate additional cases of COVID-19 to appear in our community due to the contagiousness of the virus and how widespread it is across the world. However, if we work together using smart mitigation practices, we can reduce COVID-19’s impact on our community,” said Thomas Moffses, the administrator of health in Hamilton County. “We must practice social distancing, stay home when sick, frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, cover coughs and sneezes, and follow CDC prevention guidelines to stop the spread of the virus.”

Suwannee County has seen 187 samples taken for testing with one still awaiting results and 155 coming back negative.

Of the county’s 31 confirmed cases, the state data shows 22 are from Live Oak and 1 is from O’Brien. The residence of the other eight aren’t known, according to the data.

One of the four counties that have not had a confirmed case yet is Lafayette, which has had 25 negative tests and one still awaiting testing.

The other three counties without a confirmed case are Gilchrist, Liberty and Taylor counties.

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