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Kaleida Health confirms first COVID-19 inpatient case

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Wed, Mar 18th 2020 09:35 am

The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) on Tuesday notified Kaleida Health that a positive COVID-19 (coronavirus) result came back on a patient who was evaluated at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital on Monday, March 16.

Details of Kaleida Health’s first coronavirus inpatient case:

•The patient is in good condition and is recovering in an isolation room at Suburban.

•The patient did not come in contact with any other patients at Suburban.

•The hospital staff who examined her and continue to treat her are using all appropriate measures to avoid potential exposure to the virus. This includes use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

•This patient works in management at the Visiting Nursing Association (VNA) of Western New York, a Kaleida Health affiliate.

•In her management capacity, the patient had no contact with VNA patients at any time over the past 14 days.

•In her work capacity, the patient did have contact with co-workers at the VNA corporate office over the past 14 days.

•Kaleida Health and the VNA are working with the ECDOH to determine tracing potential contacts of the patient.

“Our first confirmed inpatient case of COVID-19 is tangible proof that our nurses, physicians and staff were well-prepared and followed all of the appropriate protocols,” said Ken Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., chief physician quality officer for Kaleida Health. “We cannot thank them enough for their commitment to patient and employee safety at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.”

Early in March, Kaleida Health established an organization-wide coronavirus steering committee and command center operation to address this pandemic. The group has been coordinating emergency preparedness, response efforts, as well as daily communication with federal, state and county agencies.

Jody L. Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, said, “We are so proud of the preparedness and the effort put forth to help ensure the health and safety of our employees, our patients and the community at-large. Our confidence in managing through this pandemic is because of the Kaleida Health family. We will get through this. As for the patient, our thoughts are with her during her recovery.”

If it is determined by the ECDOH that someone came in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, he or she will be notified by that county agency, not the hospital or health system.

Kaleida Health’s website has more information on the coronavirus at https://www.kaleidahealth.org/coronavirus/.

The ECDOH also recommends if one gets sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or has trouble breathing:

•First, call your health care provider and explain your symptoms

•Avoid contact with others. Stay home when you are sick

•Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface 

•Before seeking health care, call ahead to the facility and tell them your situation. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness

•For testing information, please call your health care provider. Communications have been sent to health care providers regarding testing guidelines

•One’s health care provider will need to determine whether or not one needs to be tested. If one’s health care provider approves testing, the provider, not the individual, will contact the ECDOH

Kaleida Health will not share personal information about patients tested, treated or admitted for COVID-19 in order to protect their privacy as required by federal law. Erie County and the New York State Department of Health work in tandem for contact tracing and will notify people at risk per their protocols. All questions related to public safety should be directed to the appropriate governing agency.

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