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Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center confirms first COVID-19 inpatient case

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has tested and is treating in-hospital its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The adult, non-employee patient is in negative-pressure isolation and is receiving care from dedicated, specially trained medical teams, according to COVID-19 treatment protocols. The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

Due to federal privacy laws, and out of respect for the privacy of the patient and the family, Hershey Medical Center is not sharing any additional information on the medical status of the patient.

Medical staff currently caring for the patient have extensive training in the treatment of highly infectious diseases. A dedicated, in-hospital patient care area designated to specifically treat infectious disease patients will ensure COVID-19 patients receive the best possible care while all necessary precautions are taken to ensure the well-being of employees and other patients.

Hershey Medical Center is one of four designated centers in Pennsylvania that are uniquely prepared to care for patients with any disease of national concern. The organization has worked around the clock to adapt policies and operations and prepare its teams. That work is ongoing with steps and actions taken daily in response to new developments.

Hershey Medical Center remains open to treat all patients and continues to provide safe, high-quality care. The hospital has suspended non-essential surgeries, put in place a restricted visitation policy and has an incident command structure up and running with operational leaders guiding the organization’s preparedness and response efforts.

Anyone experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 who may have recently traveled to or from areas with active COVID-19 transmission or may have been in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, should immediately contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) or their primary care physician by phone to determine the appropriate next steps. People may also minimize their risk of exposure and exposing others by seeing a board-certified doctor for free COVID-19 screening through the Penn State Health OnDemand app. A standard rate of $59 applies for other acute care appointments through OnDemand.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and lower respiratory tract symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. All people are encouraged to practice proven prevention methods, including frequent hand washing for 20 seconds, avoid touching the face, staying home when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow. Additional information on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick is available through Penn State Health, the CDC, and DOH.

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