First batch of Sarasota patients tested negative for coronavirus, hospital says

Coronavirus-Virus Outbreak US
Posted at 3:09 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 12:54:34-05

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A Tampa Bay area hospital released the latest batch of test results of patients

All 14 patients tested negative for coronavirus, according to an announcement from Sarasota Memorial Health Care System on Thursday. Hospital officials say the patients arrived at the hospital with "unexplained respiratory illness" before taking the coronavirus test.


"Results were shared with the hospital late Wednesday to help with patient care and notification but are not considered official until confirmed by the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control," Sarasota Memorial Health said in a press release.

Results from the first batch of test samples were shared with the hospital late Wednesday night, according to Sarasota Memorial Health.

“We are happy to report that the results we have received to date have been negative, but there are many viruses circulating this time of year and many more tests that will be run. We have to remain vigilant and prepared for that to change,” said Sarasota Memorial Health CEO David Verinder in a press release.

As of Friday afternoon, three Florida residents and a California resident, who is being isolated in the Sunshine State, have tested positive for coronavirus in Florida.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Florida's risk level for coronavirus is still low.

How To Prevent The Spread Of Coronavirus:

The CDC has offered some tips it believes will help prevent the spread of the disease:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

And if you develop mild symptoms, the World Health Organization recommends staying home.
RELATED: Are you washing your hands properly? This is how the CDC says it should be done