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Montefiore in the News

February 4, 2020

Local hospital preps for novel coronavirus, DOH says 1 patient tests negative

Dr. Theresa Madaline

Posted: Feb 04, 2020 11:22 PM EST

Doctors at Montefiore's Emerging Infections Unit say it has been quiet since the novel coronavirus outbreak -- doctors say they hope it stays that way.

The department was built to deal with the ebola outbreak in 2014 and now it is preparing for the coronavirus.

Healthcare Epidemiologist Theresa Madaline says if it is not possible to contain the novel coronavirus, there is protection she'd wear to treat an infected patient.

"What this does is this essentially forms a barrier between the provider," said Madaline.

"If someone is identified as a person under investigation by the Department of Health, we then would collect the specimens and we have very detailed instructions from the CDC on how to do so -- and we would then send those specimens to the Department of Health and the Department of Health would send them on to the CDC," said Madaline.

Right now, only the CDC can confirm whether a patient has the virus. They say there's a vaccine for it and that it is survivable.

A patient is only moved and isolated in the department after intense screening in the emergency room. Madaline says all hospitals are equipped to treat novel coronavirus patients.

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization of the novel coronavirus test on Tuesday. Until now, the test has been limited to CDC labs, but now the test can be used at any CDC qualified labs across the country.