All patients at Baptist Health under investigation for COVID-19 have tested negative, spokesperson says

Hospital’s task force has been preparing for possible outbreak for several weeks

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Staff members at Baptist Health in Miami-Dade County are preparing for the coronavirus as the public health crisis around the world continues to raise fears.

“Currently our task force has been active, and has been preparing for several weeks,” Baptist Health Medical Director Dr. John Braden said.

Doctors and infectious disease experts gathered at Baptist Health Medical Center Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

“Baptist Health, across our entities, have a screening process at the entry points, including the ER and the urgent care facilities, for pneumonia-like symptoms,” Braden said.

Baptist Health medical director gives update on how staff members are preparing for coronavirus. (WPLG)

Hospital officials outlined the various steps that have been taken to prepare for a possible pandemic, as well as the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing process.

“The confirmation process right now does take some time, but we do have patients under investigation. And that’s where we coordinate with the health department,” Braden said.

A representative for the hospital said all patients who were under investigation have tested negative for the virus.

The discussion came just one day after we learned of the first South Florida connection to the virus -- a New York man in his 50s who recently tested positive for the virus.

While the patient works as an attorney in New York City, he reportedly traveled to Miami in early February.

On Tuesday, the mayor of Miami-Dade County said local health workers are now trying to figure out what specific areas he visited.

“What that person was doing here in Miami, who that person met with or was with,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

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