Coronavirus: How BayCare Responds to the Outbreak

March 07, 2020

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which was first identified in Wuhan, China, continues to remain a threat in the United States. 

BayCare, a leading health system in the Tampa Bay area region, is monitoring the outbreak and taking steps to protect patients, team members and the community.

Since its spread to the U.S., BayCare is educating its clinical teams and communicating regularly with its practitioners about the threat. The health system has held preparatory scenarios to prepare clinical staff for potential cases and is closely monitoring its supply chain to ensure clinical teams have adequate personal protection equipment, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“Patients who display relevant symptoms and report respiratory distress and have recently traveled, are receiving additional screening. Patients who are diagnosed with pneumonia of unknown cause are also receiving additional screening, per CDC’s guidelines,” said Nishant Anand, MD, FACEP, chief medical officer and executive vice president at BayCare. “We are continuing to coordinate with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and the CDC to help protect our community, our physicians and our team members.”

Patients are being tested for COVID-19 in coordination with state health officials and the FDOH Lab in Tampa. Results are available within 24 to 48 hours. If positive, the FDOH Tampa lab forwards the results to the CDC for confirmation, which can take up to five days.

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any BayCare facility.

FDOH encourages people who have lower-respiratory symptoms and believe to have been exposed to COVID-19 through travel or contact with someone who traveled, to contact FDOH directly at 866-779-6121 or email at People who decide to seek medical care are asked to first call their primary care doctor or the facility, so they can prepare for their arrival. Learn more here.

For the latest updates on COVID-19 case numbers in Florida, U.S. and around the world, visit the following websites:

To keep up with the latest information, you can continually visit You can also follow us on social media channels @BayCare. 

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