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Samaritan Reports First Inpatient Case of COVID-19

Published on: April 6, 2020

WATERTOWN, NY – Samaritan Medical Center is reporting its first inpatient case of COVID-19.

The patient arrived at the hospital with respiratory problems and, based on symptoms, was tested for COVID-19 and admitted to the hospital. The patient was cared for using all necessary precautions and when the test returned positive those precautions will continue, as will the patient’s mandatory isolation. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 70% of COVID-19 infections do not warrant hospitalization, individuals with certain risk factors – such as diabetes, heart, lung and kidney disease, or other underlying conditions – do need to be hospitalized. This patient has particular risk factors.

Samaritan staff treated the individual with the highest level of caution from the start of care. Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) was followed, and the patient did not come in contact with any other patients at Samaritan. Hospital staff who examined the patient and continue to provide care are using all appropriate measures to avoid exposure to the virus. Meals and other items that would normally be delivered to a patient by nonclinical hospital staff are only being delivered to this patient by a small clinical team.

“Samaritan has been anticipating its first inpatient COVID-19 case for weeks and was well-prepared for this to happen,” said Andrew Short, Chief Operating Officer. “Our caregivers are following all appropriate protocols for patient and employee safety, and we thank them for responding quickly and cautiously to this patient’s situation.”

Prior to today (April 6, 2020), individuals in Jefferson County who tested positive for COVID-19 have not needed hospitalization. This individual will remain in isolation at Samaritan for the duration of their care and, when discharged, will complete mandatory isolation under supervision of the Jefferson County Public Health Service.

As is the case for all positive COVID-19 test results, the Jefferson County Public Health Service will be in contact with any individual who may have had contact with this patient publically. Samaritan’s Employee Health team will make any staff aware that had contact with the patient.

Samaritan reminds the community that its COVID-19 Resource Line – 315-755-3100 – is staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. We encourage all community members who think they might need testing, have symptoms, or been around those with COVID-19 to call and let our professional team help answer your concerns.

The community has been extremely thoughtful to stay home, maintain social distancing and using proper hygiene and we need to all continue to do so.

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