‘The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,’ Gene Della Sala quipped after Florida officials said he died from the coronavirus.
By D’Ann Lawrence White | 21 March 2020
PATCH — Despite the Florida Department of Health reporting his death Friday, 46-year-old Hudson resident Gene Della Sala, the first Pasco County resident to test positive for the coronavirus, said he’s feeling “90 percent better.”
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” he told Patch lightly, using Star Trek character Capt. Jean Luc Picard’s adaptation of the famous Mark Twain quote.
Della Sala and his family were a bit taken aback when the Florida Department of Health reported his death at 6 p.m. Friday.
Four hours later, the DOH retracted the report, but not before Della Sala received a flurry of frantic phone calls from friends and family.
“There was an error in data input for the Florida Department of Health reporting system in Pasco County which has been corrected. Currently, there are no deaths related to COVID-19 in Pasco County. We apologize for the error and will continue to keep you informed,” said DOH in a statement. […]