Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said 39-year-old Deputy Shannon Bennett died Friday night from the disease. Tony said at a news conference Saturday that Bennett was a 12-year veteran of the agency.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida deputy has died from coronavirus as the number of positive cases in the state topped 10,000, officials said Saturday.


Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said 39-year-old Deputy Shannon Bennett died Friday night from the disease. Tony said at a news conference Saturday that Bennett was a 12-year veteran of the agency.


The sheriff said Bennett had worked most recently as a resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School. Bennett called in sick March 23, checked into the hospital that same day and tested positive for coronavirus March 27.


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It's unclear exactly where or when Bennett contracted the infection, Tony said.


"He was on duty when he reported it so as far as I'm concerned this is an 'in the line of duty' death," Tony told reporters.


Bennett was one of 21 deputies, firefighters and civilian employees of the Broward Sheriff's Office who have tested positive for coronavirus, Tony added. Most are self-isolated at home.


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The deputy's death comes as the total number of positive coronavirus cases topped 11,000 in Florida with 170 deaths as of Saturday morning, according to statistics collected by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, even death. The vast majority of people recover, but a surge of cases needing hospital support could overwhelm the health care system's capacity.


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