A patient at Sarasota Memorial Hospital who tested positive for COVID-19 died today, the first known death at the facility and in Sarasota County linked to the coronavirus disease.
The hospital initially announced the death of a second patient suspected to have the disease, but on Wednesday, the hospital said that patient’s test results came back negative.
Reports from multiple news outlets state one of those patients was Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, who died today at Sarasota Memorial Hospital from coronavirus-related complications, according to a spokesman. He was 81.
McNally, who owns a property on Longboat Key, is known for writing plays including “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class.” He also wrote the book for musicals including “Ragtime.” In 2019, McNally received a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
Reports state McNally had chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and previously had lung cancer.
Nine confirmed COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
“On behalf of the hospital and the clinical team dedicated to caring for these patients, we extend our deepest sympathies to their families and friends,” Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder said in a statement about the deaths. “It is a sad and sobering reality to see the effects of this virus across the world, and now in our own community, but our team stands united and prepared to fight this together.”
As of Tuesday morning, the Florida Department of Health listed 26 positive COVID-19 cases in Sarasota County.
This story has been edited to include information about test results for a second individual at Sarasota Memorial Hospital suspected to have COVID-19. This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.