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Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Sarasota Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020 2 years ago

Two more COVID-19 patients die at Sarasota Memorial Hospital

The hospital is implementing new safety protocols in hopes of limiting the spread of the disease within the facility.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

Two patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, bringing the total to five coronavirus deaths at the facility since March 24.

Ten additional SMH patients have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. There have been 50 positive cases identified at the hospital, which has conducted more than 660 tests. Twenty-nine patients remain hospitalized.

In a release announcing the deaths, the hospital also said it is adopting new safety guidelines to limit the spread of the disease between workers and patients. The hospital said all workers who have contact with patients will receive a surgical mask when they arrive for work and check in at temperature screening stations. Masks will be “available but optional” for staff in non-clinical areas where social distancing guidelines cannot be consistently maintained.

Workers providing care to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are suspected to have the disease will receive N95 masks and “the highest level of personal protective equipment when performing aerosol-generating procedures,” the hospital said.

“While we continue to learn more about the virus, SMH remains committed to doing everything we can to protect our staff and the entire community,” SMH CEO David Verinder said in the release. “It cannot be overstated that we owe a great deal of gratitude to the health care providers on the front lines of this crisis.”

The hospital said it is taking donations and has procured thousands of masks and other protective items with the help of community partners.

As of Wednesday evening, the Florida Department of Health lists 99 COVID-19 cases in Sarasota County.

Click here for more of the Observer’s coronavirus coverage.

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