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Coronavirus reaches the Capitol City

Posted at 11:32 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 23:55:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Both Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and Capital Regional Medical Center confirm COVID-19 cases on Wednesday night.

Two individuals were identified at Capital Regional. The other patient, treated at TMH, is deceased.

Though treated at TMH, the deceased individual was not a Leon County resident, but was transferred from an out-of-state hospital.

The test results confirming that case were received Wednesday evening.

TMH says employees who came in contact with the patient followed procedures in place to avoid self-exposure.

Leon County and the City of Tallahassee have prepared for this and urge anyone not taking the virus seriously to be more cautious.

“It is a very serious matter," said Dianne Williams-Cox, mayor pro-tem, Tallahassee. "I think that until we actually had a case people had not taken it so seriously but it is very serious and we are continuing to ask people to wash your hands and be careful, be very careful, especially with those who are most vulnerable in our community even though you may not be suffering any symptoms you still may be a carrier.”

According to Capital Regional Medical Center, two individuals who later tested positive visited a free- standing emergency room.

The hospital says once the patients started showing symptoms, health care workers activated the COVID-19 protocols.

They later tested positive for the virus after approval from the Department of Health.

"One patient was discharged and told to quarantine at home," Williams-Cox said. "The other is still receiving care here and is still in isolation for the safety of other patients."

In anticipation of the spread, TMH opened a COVID-19 sample collection site Wednesday.

It's quickly easing concerns about the virus.

Health officials are urging everyone to follow the guidelines put in place by the CDC to protect yourself from the virus.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

If you are sick stay home.

Cover all your coughs and sneezes.

Wear a face mask if you are sick.

And always clean and disinfect any surfaces you touch on a regular basis.

COVID-19 Resources for Big Bend and south Georgia area.

This is a developing story.