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COVID-19: Hospitals Report 3 Confirmed Cases, 1 Death As Coronavirus Reaches Tallahassee

Ryan Dailey

Two local hospitals tonight (Wednesday, March 18) are reporting the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tallahassee. Three people tested positive for coronavirus, one of whom has died.

Capital Regional Medical Center confirms it was notified by the Florida Department of Health of two people testing positive after visiting one of CRMC’s free-standing emergency rooms.

According to CRMC, both patients showed symptoms when they got to the ER, when the Department of Health approved them for testing. One of those people was instructed to self-quarantine at home, and the other was admitted to the hospital – those directives given at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance.

“The patient at Capital Regional remains in isolation receiving the proper care,” a CRMC spokesperson said in a statement. “We are working closely with the CDC and the health department, notifying individuals who may have been in contact with the patient, and requiring certain colleagues to self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms.”

The person who died from COVID-19 had been admitted to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

“This individual, who is not a resident of Leon County, was transferred from an out-of-state hospital with known cases and is now deceased,” TMH vice president Stephanie Derzypolski said. “Our colleagues followed proper processes and procedures to avoid exposing themselves, our patients and our community to the virus.”

Derzypolski advises the public more cases will likely pop up in Tallahassee going forward:

“Although this is the first confirmed case in Tallahassee, it will likely not be the last,” she said.

Mayor John Dailey took to social media to address the area’s first confirmed cases.

“Our increased testing capacity and social distancing efforts are vitally important to slowing the spread of the virus and ultimately saving lives,” Dailey said on Twitter.

TMH opened its first drive-through sample collection site at Northwood Centre Wednesday. The hospital and Mayor Dailey will be on hand to give an update on COVID-19 Thursday morning.

Contact reporter Ryan Dailey at rdailey@fsu.edu

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.