Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center confirmed its first inpatient fatality associated with COVID-19 occurred today, Friday, March 27. The deceased patient was an individual in a high-risk category for COVID-19 mortality.
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.
As of 5 p.m. on March 27, Hershey Medical Center was treating nine hospital inpatients that are confirmed positive for COVID-19 and three patients under investigation 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. Hershey Medical Center remains in close contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Medical staff currently caring for confirmed and presumptive positive COVID-19 patients 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 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.