Results negative for hospitalized patient tested for COVID-19 at Savannah’s Candler Hospital

Covid-19 vs. Flu
Covid-19 vs. Flu
Updated: Mar. 12, 2020 at 10:38 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE - St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System officials say test results for a patient under investigation for COVID-19 at their hospital have come back negative.

The patient’s test results were sent to the state department of health. Pending those results, the patient was isolated at Candler Hospital for a couple of days.

Currently, there is still no confirmation of COVID-19 in Savannah.

A spokesperson for St. Joseph’s Candler says the hospital will continue to take every precaution against the virus.

The Coastal Health District says they still have no confirmed cases of coronavirus and will not comment on patients being tested. The health district does want to define some of the medical jargon that’s being used.

The district health director, Dr. Lawton Davis, says a person under investigation does not necessarily mean they have a travel history or association with a confirmed case, but it could be someone who is hospitalized with respiratory illness with no obvious cause and is not improving with appropriate therapy so that person would then be tested.

A spokesman for St. Joseph’s/Candler explained a “patient under investigation” simply means they matched the symptoms and criteria for COVID-19 and the state health department asked them to send specimens to them for testing.

Dr. Davis says with two commercial labs offering testing there will be more done which ultimately will help medical professionals learn more about this virus. COVID-19 is a reportable condition so if a test comes up positive, it must be reported- but that has not happened, so far, in the Coastal Empire.

“At the moment we have zero confirmed cases in Chatham County or the Coastal Health District. We have zero presumptively positive cases in Chatham County or the Coastal Health District. It does not surprise me at all that there’s a PUI in a local hospital. Again, you don’t have to have a travel history or contact with a known case to become a PUI. We have absolutely no evidence of community transmission of this illness,” Dr. Davis said.

The director went on to say that the state as a whole has little evidence of community transmission, but he says the best thing to do still is be informed, aware and practice good hygiene.

“It is quite likely that sooner or later someone will test positive in our community. We’re all in this together, we all want the same thing which is a safe and healthy community. When we learn, we will be among the first to learn that there is a confirmed positive or even a presumptive positive, we will let you guys know,” Dr. Davis said.

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