COVID-19 fatality was elderly with underlying conditions, Samaritan officials say

Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 1:47 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Samaritan Medical Center has issued a statement about the death of a coronavirus patient there, the first COVID-19-related death in Jefferson County.

Hospital officials say the patient was an elderly Jefferson County resident with underlying health conditions. The patient acquired the virus in the community and was admitted to Samaritan’s COVID-19 unit for treatment.

“We wish to extend our deepest condolences to the patient’s family,” Samaritan Health president and CEO Thomas Carman said in the statement. “We are deeply saddened by this outcome, and disappointed our community could not be spared the terrible realities of this virus. This tragic development is a sobering reminder of the importance of abiding by public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing face masks in public, keeping six feet of distance, and limiting large gatherings. We must come together to protect our most vulnerable community residents, particularly our senior residents and those with underlying conditions.”

Samaritan has been the main local hospital providing care to patients diagnosed with COVID-19 for the past four months.

Officials say there’s currently one other person in the hospital with COVID-19.

“We want to thank our staff once again for their dedication and their efforts to continue to ensure safe, quality health care for our patients over these last several months,” Carman said. “We ask the community to remain diligent as we work together to respond to this ongoing pandemic.”

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