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Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Sarasota Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020 2 months ago

Third COVID-19 patient dies at Sarasota Memorial Hospital

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A 28-year-old in Sarasota County is the youngest identified coronavirus death in Florida. Two additional hospital workers have also tested positive for the disease.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Sarasota Memorial Hospital announced today another COVID-19 patient has died, the third death related to the coronavirus at the facility in the past week.

In a separate announcement today, the Florida Department of Health said a 28-year-old man who tested positive for COVID-19 died in Sarasota County, the youngest listed coronavirus death in the state. FDOH data says the man had a history of recent travel within Florida and to Illinois but no known contact with a confirmed case.

Of the 40 patients who have tested positive for the disease at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 26 remain hospitalized. The hospital said it has tested nearly 600 people.

Two additional SMH workers have also tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the overall total to eight. One hospitalized employee has been discharged, and the other positive workers are being monitored at home. The hospital is still investigating the cases but said the workers have had no known contact with positive COVID-19 patients at the facility. The hospital said it is notifying patients and workers who had close contact with employees who tested positive, asking several staff members to stay home and monitor for symptoms.

The hospital said it is planning for a potential surge in cases locally as the overall number of COVID-19 cases increases statewide. If necessary, the hospital can increase its intensive care unit from 62 to 80 beds by expanding into areas used for surgery and other procedures. SMH is working to coordinate its planning with local and state officials.

The hospital said its highest priority is obtaining personal protective equipment such as masks.

“We are working 24/7 to source supplies from every available channel as the outbreak accelerates,” hospital spokeswoman Kim Savage said in an email. “We also are following CDC guidelines to take every measure to safely conserve and appropriately allocate our very limited stock of PPE. And we are welcoming donations of medical supplies from community, business and medical partners.”

Click here for more of the Observer’s COVID-19 coverage.

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