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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Information: Lee Health Remains Prepared

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

When COVID-19 was identified December 2019 in Wuhan, China, Lee Health immediately established plans and protocols for an eventual case here in Southwest Florida. Since then, Lee Health has worked closely with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) to proactively prepare for, monitor, and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Lee Health’s proactive approach paid off when two patients tested positive for coronavirus after arriving at Gulf Coast Medical Center March 4 in severe respiratory distress. One of the patients, a female in her 70s, died the next morning. The second patient is isolated and receiving appropriate treatment in the intensive care unit.

The patients were tested for COVID-19 in accordance with guidelines provided by the FDOH. Citing federal patient privacy laws, Lee Health is not releasing any personal information about either patient except that both were elderly and had underlying health issues. Additionally, the patient who died had recently traveled outside the country.

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, says Dr. Larry Antonucci, president and CEO of Lee Health.

For the latest FDOH COVID-19 test results, visit here.

Questions and concerns about the coronavirus? Call the FDOH’s free hotline

The Florida Department of Health’s call center has a live person who can answer your questions and concerns. 

  • The Call Center is 866-779-6121 and is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • You can also email your questions.

For additional information on COVID-19 and Lee Health’s preparedness plan, visit the Lee Health website at

Any patient needing immediate care should visit the Emergency Department. In addition, Lee Health has made its telehealth solution available for free. Patients who suspect they may have symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to call the ED in advance of arrival so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

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.