After 2nd Jefferson County death, officials urge community COVID vigilance

North Country


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson County recorded their second COVID-19 related fatality on Wednesday, and health officials in the North Country are urging community safety precautions.

Samaritan Medical Center officially announced the second COVID-19 related death on November 19, 2020. According to the Center, the patient was an elderly Jefferson County resident with underlying health conditions, but acquired COVID-19 in the local community.

SMC stated that there are currently four other inpatients with COVID-19 in the hospital located in Watertown. Samaritan Medical Center is currently the primary hospital in the county that provides inpatient coronavirus care. The Center stated that their COVID-19 unit has remained open consistently over the past several weeks as the community is responding to an uptick in infections.

Samaritan Health Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Carman commented on the recently COVID-19 fatality, and the importance of adhering to safety measures in the North Country.

Carman stated,

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the patient’s family. The pandemic’s current, record-setting surge is intense and is impacting communities of all sizes throughout our region, New York State and the U.S. This is only the second COVID-related death here at Samaritan in the past three months, but it is heartbreaking nonetheless and helps drive home the message that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to minimize the virus’s threat as we head into Thanksgiving, the holiday season and the winter months. As virus cases spike nationwide, it’s important to note younger and healthier people are increasingly becoming infected; this is not something that only impacts older Americans or those with underlying health conditions.”

Tom Carman, President and CEO, Samaritan Health

Samaritan Medical Center also stated that its COVID-19 unit did not see any patients for many weeks throughout the past summer. SMC stated, “the local rise in cases leads us to believe we will have inpatients consistently for the near future.”

North Country residents are reminded to practice safety guidelines to slow the spread of the virus, including handwashing, mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding crowds.

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