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nursing homes

walker next to nursing home bed.
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State health care regulators on Wednesday issued an emergency order freezing admissions at a Brandon assisted living facility accused of not taking proper steps to control the spread of COVID-19.

A new online petition is demanding a way for family members to visit their loved ones in Florida’s long-term care facilities. 

A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
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Concern over the spread of the coronavirus has some families opting to move elderly parents out of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

walker next to nursing home bed.
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More than a third of COVID-19 deaths in the United States so far happened at nursing homes.

Now Congress is demanding answers from five of the companies that run them, including one with 69 facilities in Florida. 

State Boosts COVID-19 Testing For Long-Term Care Workers

Jun 18, 2020
Under the emergency rules, which take effect July 7, nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be banned from allowing any staff members into the buildings who have not been tested for COVID-19.
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Staff members at nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be required to be tested for COVID-19 every two weeks under a pair of emergency rules issued Wednesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

Facilities that don’t comply with the emergency rules could have their licenses revoked or suspended and face administrative fines. The new rules reinforce a thrust by the Republican governor to tamp down the spread of the deadly respiratory disease in facilities that house tens of thousands of seniors across the state.

Veteran Harry Stapleton (right) does a video chat with his sister Maria Mishkind and her husband John.
Stephanie Colombini / American Homefront

Like many long-term care facilities, VA nursing homes haven't allowed in-person visitation since early March. The separation has been hard on veterans and their families.

As the number of deaths in long-term care facilities continues to steadily increase, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday the state will mandate that nursing homes transfer residents with COVID-19 if the homes cannot properly isolate or care for them.

graph of  COVID-19 cases in nursing homes
Florida Emergency Status System

The state is now releasing information about the number of patients and staff who have COVID-19 in individual nursing homes.

Elderly people holding hands - close-up on hands.
Pixabay

Nearly 30 percent of coronavirus deaths in Florida are linked to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Residents of these facilities are especially vulnerable to get COVID-19, as are the staff taking care of them.

In some parts of the U.S., the desperate need to slow the spread of the coronavirus is coming into conflict with the scramble to find more hospital beds.

Nursing homes have been the sites of some of the earliest — and deadliest — outbreaks of COVID-19. Some people who run such facilities are understandably leery of accepting new patients who might spread the virus.

Nonetheless, some of the largest states are now ordering nursing homes to accept patients who have been discharged from the hospital but are still recovering from COVID-19.

An older woman sits in a wheelchair as a younger person holds her hand
istock

More than four dozen long term care facilities in the greater Tampa Bay region have patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Over the weekend, the state of Florida released the names and counties with nursing homes and assisted-living facilities who had patients or employees test positive for Covid-19. The more than 300 locations include 53 facilities in Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Manatee Counties.

Gov. ron DeSantis in front of a podium
The Florida Channel

The state began on Saturday releasing the names of nursing homes and assisted living facilities where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

At least nineteen long-term care facilities in Florida have either a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. The disease has already proven deadly at one senior care facility in Broward County. Four residents have tested positive for the virus at an assisted living facility in Jacksonville.


A walker rests beside a small nursing home bed.
iStock

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees this week recommended Florida nursing homes restrict visitation to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

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Health Facilities Evacuated As Dorian Looms

Sep 2, 2019
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills where 12 people died after a power failure following Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Google Maps

Florida officials said Monday that 72 nursing homes and assisted living facilities and seven hospitals on the state’s East Coast had been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.

Abe Aboraya / WMFE

After 12 people died when a nursing home lost power following Hurricane Irma, the state required all such facilities to have generators.

Medicare Report Points To Neglect And Abuse

Jun 13, 2019

An estimated 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes who were transported to hospital emergency rooms in 2016 and treated for a variety of high-risk conditions had been potentially abused or neglected, a report released Wednesday by the federal government shows. 

Hurricane season has started, and only about a third of Palm Beach County’s 55 nursing homes have a permanent generator in place to keep residents cool in case the power fails. Only about two-thirds of the county’s 185 assisted living facilities do.

When Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida nearly two years ago, it knocked out power across the region — in some areas for up to 10 days. A dozen people in the Rehabilitation Center At Hollywood Hills died after the storm, due to heat-related issues from lack of air-conditioning.

Nursing Homes Make Budget Plea To DeSantis

May 15, 2019

The state’s largest nursing-home association sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to spare from a veto millions of dollars in Medicaid funding for long-term care facilities. Included in the proposed fiscal 2019-2020 budget is $15.5 million to enhance Medicaid payments to nursing homes. 

Nuñez: Nursing Home, ALF Backup Power Likely An 'Ongoing Discussion'

Dec 6, 2018

The incoming administration of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis may tinker with one of Gov. Rick Scott’s signature acts, pushed in response to Hurricane Irma.

Offering extensive details of what she described as a “catastrophe,” an administrative law judge has backed a state decision to revoke the license of a Broward County nursing home where residents died after Hurricane Irma.

An appeals court Friday sided with the Florida Department of Health in a battle about turning over thousands of death records to a Broward County nursing home that was shut down by the state after residents died following Hurricane Irma.

Nursing Homes Seek More Time On Generator Requirements

Nov 19, 2018

More than 40 percent of Florida nursing homes are asking health-care regulators for more time to meet backup-power requirements pushed by Gov. Rick Scott after Hurricane Irma last year.

Authorities say a fire broke out in a South Florida nursing home, injuring two residents and a staff member.

Michael Forces Hospital, Nursing Home Evacuations

Oct 15, 2018

More than 30 health-care facilities had to be evacuated as Hurricane Michael damaged buildings and knocked out electricity in the Panhandle, state emergency management officials said Friday.

None of the more than 1,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida are on Florida Power & Light’s highest priority list for power restoration.

 

FPL rejected Broward and Miami-Dade counties’ lists, which included these facilities, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Court Backs Moves To Shutter Nursing Home After Deaths

Jun 21, 2018

A state appeals court Wednesday upheld moves by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to shut down a Broward County nursing home that drew nationwide attention last year after the deaths of residents following Hurricane Irma.

Judge Backs Nursing Home On Death Records

Apr 23, 2018

Ruling against the Florida Department of Health, a circuit judge Friday said an embattled Broward County nursing home is entitled to receive copies of death certificates for people who died across the state around the time of Hurricane Irma.

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