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Hershey Medical Center confirms first death of patient from coronavirus

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A Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center patient died from COVID-19 on Friday.

It was the facility’s first inpatient fatality associated with the coronavirus, and the person who died was an individual in a high-risk category for COVID-19 mortality, the center said in a press release.

“Due to federal privacy laws, and out of respect for the privacy of the patient and the family, no further information will be released relative to the identity or residence of the patient,” a press release stated.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, Hershey Medical Center is treating nine hosptial inpatients that are confirmed positive for COVID-19 and three patients under investigation for COVID-19.

Last Saturday, Penn State Health announced that an employee at one of its outpatient practices on the campus of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Those patients are being cared for in negative-pressure isolation and receiving care from dedicated, specially trained medical teams, according to COVID-19 treatment protocols,” the press release stated.

As of Friday, the state Department of Health announced 2,218 coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania, and 22 deaths.

Hershey Medical Center is in close contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical staff currently caring for confirmed and presumptive positive COVID-19 patients have extensive training in the treatment of highly infectious diseases, according to the center.

A dedicated, in-hospital patient care area designated to specifically treat infectious disease patients is designed to “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 Ebola Treatment Centers in Pennsylvania, which makes it “uniquely prepared to care for patients with any disease of national concern,” according to previous information released by Penn State Health.

Hershey Medical Center is open to treat all patients. The hospital has suspended non-essential surgeries and testing, 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.”