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Samaritan Follows Protocol and Tests Patient for COVID-19

Published on: March 6, 2020

WATERTOWN, NY – Update – March 8, 2020

The NYSDOH has informed Jefferson County Public Health that the results for the Samaritan patient tested for COVID-19 were negative.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service will end monitoring of the patient today.  As of this time, no individuals have been diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus – COVID-19 in Jefferson County.    

——Posted on March 6, 2020

Samaritan Medical Center today had one patient tested for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), after the patient presented with respiratory illness symptoms.

Based on this patient’s symptoms and travel history across the country, it was determined – as a precaution – that the patient needed to be tested for the virus, in compliance with guidance from the Jefferson County Public Health Department, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The test will be completed at Wadsworth Lab in Albany, NY, the only lab where testing in New York State can occur.

Based on guidance from Jefferson County Public Health, NYSDOH and the CDC, the patient was discharged from Samaritan’s Emergency Department and instructed to self-quarantine until results are available.

This is Jefferson County’s first testing for COVID-19, but many other Upstate New York counties have submitted tests. According to NYSDOH, as of March 5, 2020, 122 people across New York have been tested, and to date only 22 are confirmed positive, none of which are in Jefferson County.

If you are concerned about a respiratory illness or symptoms, please contact your primary care provider for guidance. If you need to visit your primary care provider’s office or another healthcare facility, please wear a mask or obtain a mask immediately upon arrival if you have any respiratory illness.

Here are some things to know about the Coronavirus:

  • If you have specific questions, please call the NYSDOH Coronavirus Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
  • The best ways to prevent the spread of this disease, and other similar diseases like the flu, are to:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and avoid large crowds of people.
    • If you are ill, avoid contact with others. Stay home, except for seeking medical care.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
    • If you are ill, avoid travel.
  • For the most up to date and accurate information please visit the CDC’s website or NYSDOH’s website.