JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hours after the Florida Department of Health confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus in Duval County, Memorial Hospital confirmed to News4Jax that a patient is being treated for COVID-19 in its Jacksonville facility.
A statement from a spokesperson reads in part:
The spokesperson noted that the hospital has protocols in place, ensuring it’s prepared to treat cases of COVID-19. The patient was said to be in isolation.
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During a Friday afternoon news conference, Mayor Lenny Curry revealed the patient, an 83-year-old man, was living in a senior facility on the Southside. It’s Duval County’s first patient to test positive for the new coronavirus.
The man was living at Camellia at Deerwood near Baymeadows and I-295.
“I spoke to the head of that hospital this (Friday) morning,” Curry said. “He shared with me they took all the precautions they needed to take, and the patient is quarantined in a way that needs to be at this moment in time.”
Curry said the first responders that were sent to the facility were not made aware of the situation.
“They had no indication that the patient was possibly infected with COVID-19,” Curry said. “Since the first responders were exposed without personal protective equipment, all five are now in quarantine.”
Camellia at Deerwood released a statement that the individual who has now been diagnosed with COVID-19 is an independent living resident. The statement said, “That means that he and his family retain control over and responsibility for his care decisions. When the resident’s family requested that a Camellia at Deerwood associate place a 911 call on their behalf, our associate dutifully communicated the symptoms which the family had provided, ranging from gastrointestinal to respiratory symptoms, and our associate followed all safety protocols in doing so. We understand that first responders and medical professionals are trained in how to respond to various scenarios, and we take our charge seriously to assist them by sharing any and all available information. That was done in this case.”
Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said it has adjusted its policies to better protect first responders and patients.
Camellia at Deerwood said they have taken the precautionary steps of limiting community access only to residents, associates and direct care and service providers for the residents.
During the news conference, the mayor revealed that he made the decision to suspend events at all city facilities for the foreseeable future.
Last week, Memorial Hospital instituted visitor restrictions. The spokesperson said visitors and patients to the hospital are being directed to use specific entrances so they can all be screened.
Late Thursday night, the Florida Department of Health confirmed an additional 16 cases in Florida, including a 57-year-old man in Clay County and an 83-year-old man in Duval County. The state was investigating if either case was travel-related.
As of early Friday morning, 147 tests are pending results and 476 people are being monitored. Two Florida residents have died from the virus.