Lee Health Officials Prepared for More Cases to Come
(Fort Myers, Fla. – Mar. 6, 2020) --- Lee Health is working closely with the Florida Department of Health following the death of a patient who tested positive for coronavirus. The patient was tested for COVID-19 in accordance with guidelines provided by the FDOH after arriving at Gulf Coast Medical Center with severe respiratory ailment. The agency notified Lee Health of the presumptive positive test results Friday evening.
“We are saddened by the family’s loss and will continue to monitor and take appropriate precautions on behalf of patients, caregivers, and the community,” says Dr. Larry Antonucci, president and CEO of Lee Health.
Employees and others who have come into contact with the patient are being evaluated. No Lee Health employees have shown signs of infection, but they have been isolated as a precaution and are being monitored closely.
Lee Health is prevented by federal privacy laws from releasing any details about our patients. FDOH is investigating their travel history and opportunities for exposure, and will be responsible for communicating details of the cases if appropriate.
Since this strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in December, Lee Health has been monitoring the spread and prepared the health system for an eventual case. The established plans and protocols are being followed at this time to limit any further infection. The drills conducted with our clinical staff confirmed that we have the appropriate training, supplies and equipment in place. All of our plans are in effect.
For additional information on COVID-19 and Lee Health’s preparedness plan, please visit the Lee Health website at www.leehealth.org.
Gulf Coast Medical Center and other Lee Health facilities continue to service our community. All emergency rooms remain open. All hospitals and clinics continually perform terminal cleansing using anti-microbial disinfectant on all surfaces in both clinical and public spaces to ensure a safe environment on behalf of patients, caregivers, and the community.
Any patient needing immediate care is recommended to visit the Emergency Department. In addition, Lee Health has made its telehealth solution available for $29 throughout the month of March. Any patient who suspects they may have symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to call the ED in advance of arrival so that appropriate precautions could be taken.
Lee Health will continue to notify the media if additional information becomes available.