Nursing home patients account for more than a third of Florida’s COVID-19 deaths and the greater Tampa Bay region has some of the state’s highest death tolls.
Four of the five nursing homes with the most deaths in Florida are located in Pinellas, Manatee and Polk counties, newly released state figures show.
The deadliest outbreak in the area – and tied for the deadliest in the state – is at Freedom Square of Seminole. A state report shows 13 residents and one staff member died after contracting COVID-19 there, but other media reports put the figure at 20 deaths. Dozens more tested positive at the facility and had to be transferred to hospitals.
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Until the state began releasing the number of deaths at individual nursing homes on Friday, the extent of outbreaks at facilities across Florida was not clear.
Though problems have been reported with the state’s figures, they provide a better picture of the severity of the situation at several nursing homes.
At the top of the list with the Seminole nursing home is Braden River Rehabilitation Center in Bradenton, where 13 residents and one staff member also died after testing postive for COVID-19. Highlands Lake Center in Lakeland is next on the list with 12 patients killed by the virus, followed by Riviera Palms Rehabilitation Center in Palmetto with nine deaths.
Overall, nursing homes accounted for at least 534 of the state’s 1,471 deaths as of Monday. More than 3,000 residents and 1,500 staff at assisted living facilities have also tested positive for COVID-19, according to incomplete figures released by the state.
Hundreds more have contracted COVID-19 in nursing homes around the Tampa Bay region and state.
This week, the Florida Department of Health reported another outbreak at a nursing home in the Tampa Bay area.
Fifty-five patients and 17 staff members at Community Care Center in Plant City have tested positive for the virus.
The patients were transferred to a hospital, but the Florida Department of Health did not release information about their conditions.
The state does not list any deaths from COVID-19 at Community Care, but only updates fatalities at individual nursing homes once a week.
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