Medical examiner releases identities of three who died after testing positive for COVID-19 at Seminole nursing home

Three residents who have died from complications due to COVID-19 at a nursing facility in Pinellas County were identified by the medical examiner's office Monday morning.

Those who passed away were residents of Freedom Square's Seminole Pavilion Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility. According to the medical examiner's office, they were:

74-year-old Thomas Minichillo who died on April 10:

Minichillo was taken to Largo Medical Center on April 5 for a mental status change. At the time, he did not have any flu-like symptoms. By April 7, he was hypoxic and intubated. A test for COVID-19 was ordered, but he continued not to exhibit any flu-like symptoms.

On April 9, the positive test results were received. Minichillo's medical history includes paraplegia, chronic pneumonia, diabetes, hypertension and dementia.

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84-year-old Jean Israelson who died on April 17:

Israelson was taken to Largo Medical Center on April 13 because she was having shortness of breath and was hypoxic. She was tested for the coronavirus on April 11. The sample was sent to Baycare Laboratory and was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19.

Israelson went into respiratory distress and was placed in the ICU. She had a medical history of atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and congestive heart failure.

66-year-old Daniel Lewis who died on April 17:

Lewis was at the nursing facility for treatment of severe COPD and was described as a heavy smoker by a relative. He began showing symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus on April 12.

He was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital on April 14. Then, he was taken to Suncoast Hospice Pinellas Care Center on April 15.

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The family of Minichillo told FOX 13 he was recovering at Freedom Square of Seminole following a recent trip to the hospital. They were in constant communication with him, but when they stopped receiving calls, they said they knew something wasn't right.

"We were calling up there multiple times a day asking for information and most of the time we were just being told he was fine,” said Brian Minichillo. "They went in there and just said he was tired and didn't want to talk to my mom, which I don't really believe that if they asked him to talk to my mom he would say no."

On Friday, Freedom Square removed all patients from the facility and placed them in hospitals and other facilities, depending on their health status. A total of 95 patients were removed.

“We extend our sincere condolences to the families and patients of these patients and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time," according to a statement by the facility. "After all Seminole Pavilion residents have been transferred, Freedom Square will continue and expand our infection control protocols and procedures within Seminole Pavilion, in partnership with federal, state and local agencies to eliminate the possibility of further spread of the virus.”

Over the weekend, three additional residents tested positive for COVID-19.