Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Samaritan Medical Center reported its first inpatient case of COVID-19 on Monday.

The patient arrived at the hospital with respiratory problems and, based on symptoms, was tested for COVID-19 and admitted to the hospital. 

“The patient was cared for using all necessary precautions and when the test returned positive those precautions will continue, as will the patient’s mandatory isolation,” a release from the hospital said.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 70 percent of COVID-19 infections do not warrant hospitalization, individuals with certain risk factors — such as diabetes, heart, lung and kidney disease, or other underlying conditions — do need to be hospitalized. This patient has particular risk factors.

Hospital staff who examined the patient and continue to provide care are using all appropriate measures to avoid exposure to the virus, the release said. Meals and other items that would normally be delivered to a patient by nonclinical hospital staff are only being delivered to this patient by a small clinical team, the release said.

“Samaritan has been anticipating its first inpatient COVID-19 case for weeks and was well-prepared for this to happen,” Chief Operating Officer Andrew Short said in the release. “Our caregivers are following all appropriate protocols for patient and employee safety, and we thank them for responding quickly and cautiously to this patient’s situation.”

Prior to Monday, individuals in Jefferson County who tested positive for COVID-19 have not needed hospitalization. This individual will remain in isolation at Samaritan for the duration of their care and, when discharged, will complete mandatory isolation under supervision of the Jefferson County Public Health Service.

The Jefferson County Public Health Service will be in contact with any individual who may have had contact with this patient publicly. Samaritan’s Employee Health team will make any staff aware that had contact with the patient.

Samaritan reminds the community that its COVID-19 Resource Line can be reached at 315-755-3100 and is staffed seven days a week from 7 a.m to 11 p.m.

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