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First Coast Hospitals Announce Extra Precautions As Coronavirus Is Confirmed In FL

Aubrey Holland, performs tests at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories on Monday, March 2, 2020, in Miami, where the COVID-19 virus is being tested at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories.
Brynn Anderson
/
Associated Press
Aubrey Holland, performs tests at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories on Monday, March 2, 2020, in Miami, where the COVID-19 virus is being tested at the Bureau of Public Health Laboratories.

Jacksonville-area hospitals are taking extra precautions against the new coronavirus — though there are no confirmed cases in Northeast Florida.

Memorial Hospital and the Orange Park Medical Center are limiting public entrances to only the Emergency Room and Main Entrance.

Visitors and patients will be screened at those entrances with a list of questions.

Related: Jacksonville Woman From Oregon 'Frustrated' After Being Denied Coronavirus Test

And the hospitals are asking that visitors stay home if they:

  • Have a fever.
  • Have a cough or shortness of breath and have traveled outside the U-S in the past 2-weeks.
  • Have had direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Those at highest health risk are the elderly and immunosuppressed. Public health authorities say the best protection right now is to wash your hands frequently  — and avoid touching your face.

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, jpalombo@wjct.org or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP