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Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare confirms first COVID-19 case, death in Leon County after out-of-state patient dies

Out-of-state patient died after contracting COVID-19
Posted at 8:21 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 06:58:48-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare has confirmed Leon County's first case of coronavirus after a COVID-19 positive patient who was transferred to the hospital died.

Stephanie Derzypolski, the Vice President & Chief Communications Officer at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, sent the following statement:

"At Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, we have identified our organization’s first confirmed patient with COVID-19.

"This individual, who is not a resident of Leon County, was transferred from an out-of-state hospital with known cases and is now deceased. Our colleagues followed proper processes and procedures to avoid exposing themselves, our patients and our community to the virus. Although this is the first confirmed case in Tallahassee, it will likely not be the last.

To learn more about how to limit your exposure to COVID-19, please visit TMH.ORG/Coronavirus."

A spokesperson for TMH told ABC 27 they needed the patient's test results to come back before they notified the public. While they say the test results came back on Wednesday, they couldn't say when the patient was initially tested or if other patients were being monitored.

Due to HIPPA laws, TMH could not comment on where the patient came from or how long they were at the hospital. TMH tells ABC 27 all protocols being followed to ensure patient and employee safety to prevent exposure.

Shortly after TMH announced their cases, Capital Regional Medical Center announced that two patients who came into one of their free-standing emergency rooms tested positive for COVID-19.

City and county officials are working together with FDOH to ensure all appropriate plans are carried out according to CDC guidelines.

The best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are:

- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Stay home if you're sick.
- Wear a facemask if your're sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily.