BRADENTON, Fla. - The number of COVID-19 cases in nursing and assisted living facilities in Manatee County is among the highest in Florida.
More than 120 of Manatee County's 433 COVID-19 cases are in residents of long-term care facilities. Additionally, 13 of the county's 19 deaths due to the virus were residents of such facilities.
"Once you get into those nursing home situations, that’s really the biggest issue," said Governor Ron DeSantis on Saturday. "You may have everyone doing everything right in one of these facilities, but you could have a staff member who is not symptomatic and it could spread throughout the staff and spread to the residents very very quickly."
Eight facilities in the county are now under a microscope:
-Braden River Rehabilitation Center, LLC
-Bradenton Health Care
-Brookdale Bradenton Gardens
-Casa Mora Rehabilitation and Extended Care
-Manatee Springs Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
-Residence at Bay Vue
-Riviera Palms Rehabilitation Center
-Westminster Point Pleasant
The state's Incident Management team has tested staff and patients and the county health department asked some employees to voluntarily quarantine. The National Guard is expected to come this week for additional testing with employees.
"We have continued to support the idea of transparency when it comes to family members and long term care facilities in response to this state of emergency," said Kristen Knapp, the director of communications with the Florida Health Care Association, which represents more than 82% of the state's long-term facilities.
Last week, the state released a list of facilities in Florida where cases of COVID-19 have been reported, which dates back to March 2. The list does not include the number of cases, past or current. Knapp says the list is not representative of the current situation.
"We'd like to work with the governor and state officials to produce a list that is more consumer-friendly, that provides more value to the public," she said. "The list right now is a static document, it doesn't necessarily reflect the current point in time today of what’s happening in our long term centers."
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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