Two Roswell Park patients test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 13:29:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A spokesperson for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center reports that two patients who recently received inpatient care have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to officials, both patients “have been determined to have acquired COVID-19 through community spread.”

Along with the Erie County Department of Health, Roswell Park is investigating the contact history of the patients, both before and after being at the facility, and working to notify individuals who had contact with the patients while symptomatic.

Officials are “immediately implementing the next level of planned protective actions called for in the cancer center’s COVID-19 response:”

• Reducing the number of people, including employees, on the Roswell Park campus
• Screening employees who will be accessing Roswell Park clinical buildings
• Continuing to screen all patients and visitors
• Restricting visitors from entering inpatient units; one visitor per patient is permitted in outpatient clinical areas
• Rescheduling elective surgeries and non-urgent outpatient appointments
• Implementing telemedicine options where possible

Roswell Park issued a new statement Wednesday:

While there are many questions we don’t know the answers to right now, we are working with the Erie County Department of Health to determine the contact histories of these two patients. The Erie County Department of Health will assist with identifying close contacts of these individuals and place those close contacts in mandatory quarantine to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Anyone known to be in close contact with either individual will be contacted as soon as possible by the Erie County Department of Health.

The two patients were notified regarding the positive test results, and Roswell Park has begun contacting staff who may have been in proximate contact with either of these two individuals.

That work is underway. We expect to announce additional information once we have confirmed key facts.

Our focus is on continuing to provide excellent care for our patients. We understand what a concerning time this is for all of us, especially for our patients and care teams, and because of that we are doing everything we can to gather information, prevent exposure and keep our patients, our team and our community healthy and safe.