JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Baptist Health, Ascension St. Vincent’s and Mayo Clinic announced Sunday afternoon that the hospitals had received confirmation from the Health Department that its current patients had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Baptist Health patient, who has been treated in an isolation room since initially showing symptoms of COVID-19, is comfortable and in fair but stable condition at Baptist Medical Center South, according to the hospital.
“While this is Baptist Health’s first patient who has tested positive for COVID-19, our physicians, nurses, infection control experts, and other healthcare professionals have been standing ready. They have rigorously trained and prepared for COVID-19, just as they have done during previous viral outbreaks like Ebola and H1N1,” said Elizabeth Ransom, M.D., chief physician executive for Baptist Health.
Ascension St. Vincent’s confirmed two patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Clay and Riverside hospitals.
Mayo Clinic also confirmed it had cared for “patients” confirmed with COVID-19. Mayo Clinic declined to provide more information.
“While we do not share patient-specific information with the media without authorization, we collaborate with public health authorities, including, as necessary, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local health authorities. These public health entities are best positioned to provide relevant and appropriate information to the public,” Mayo Clinic said in a statement.
If a patient presents at Mayo Clinic with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and they meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria for further testing and evaluation, the patient would be treated in a safe environment by trained staff, a spokesperson said. Specimen samples would be sent to public health for confirmatory testing. If a COVID-19 virus is confirmed, the CDC and public health departments are responsible for public reporting.
It’s unclear if Ascension St. Vincent’s is making any safety changes. A spokesperson said because of patient privacy laws the hospital will not share the identities or conditions of these patients.
In order to minimize potential exposure to illnesses, including COVID-19, Baptist Health has implemented extra precautions that will go into effect at 8 p.m. Sunday at all of its hospital campuses and emergency center locations:
- Baptist Health will suspend patient visitation. Exceptions may be made for parents and guardians of pediatric patients, individuals authorized to make care decisions for patients, and spouses and partners of labor and delivery patients. All permitted visitors will be screened for fever, cough and shortness of breath, and will be denied entry if they have symptoms.
- Entry point modifications have been made to Baptist Health campuses. Patients and permitted visitors should enter through the following areas:
o Baptist Jacksonville: Emergency Department and Pavilion. Parking is available in the P2 parking garage and Emergency Department parking is available in the P3 parking garage.
o Baptist South: Pediatric and adult ED entrances.
o Baptist Clay: ED entrance.
o Baptist Nassau: Main and ED entrances.
o Baptist Beaches: ED entrance and Maternity entrances
o Baptist MD Anderson: Enter through the parking garage. The main entrance on Palm Avenue is closed.
Baptist Health said patients should check with their physician if they have scheduling questions regarding elective procedures and surgeries.
Earlier Sunday, the Florida Department of Health announced 39 more people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. The 39 newest cases overnight include three more in Duval County, two of which Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted about Saturday evening, two more in Clay County and a second case in St. Johns County.
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According to the limited DOH data released, the three additional cases in Jacksonville were men. Their ages were not provided and the source of their infection is under investigation.
As of 1:45 a.m. Sunday, DOH said there are 115 cases (106 Florida residents and nine non-residents) identified, including a total of four in Duval County, and three deaths in the state attributed to the disease. A fourth Floridian died in California after being diagnosed after returning from Asia.