County/DOH LTC Numbers
On Saturday, April 18, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida of Department of Health released the list of long-term care facilities in the state – of which Escambia County had ll.
Inweekly has learned the list may not be accurate and county officials knew it.
The same day FDOH and Escambia County EOC pushed out the list. Jimmy Maddrey, interim EMS manager for the county, sent an email to his field personnel that the Department of Health had informed him that “at least 15 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Escambia County have patients that tested positive for COVID-19.” Read PR EMS COVID.
It appears the county and DOH Escambia has known that the state list is inaccurate and didn’t send a corrected list to the media. We have staff and residents at four unnamed nursing homes that may also be at risk.
Inweekly has asked DOH Escambia to provide the names of the facilities.
The Miami Herald has also reported facilities missing from the list. According to the daily, at least four facilities that have notified residents’ relatives that they have a positive case were not on the list.
The Ascension Sacred Heart mobile testing unit has visited four nursing homes — there are 7 to 11 more with positive cases. Will they be test also?
UPDATE: The DOH Escambia has since responded that the state figure of 11 is correct. The Escambia County PIO wrote: “Jimmy (Maddrey) had heard about the nursing homes from someone in passing and did not reference official data. The number he wrote is inaccurate.”
Had the LTC, nursing home and ALF data been included on the SitReps, then Maddrey, commissioners, Emergency Support Functions and the media would have the same information, lessening the chances for erroneous information being passed around in emails.
Also regular press briefings would help.
Letter from Local Hospitals
The leaders of Baptist Health Care, Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital and West Florida Hospital have sent a letter to Escambia Board of County Commissioners that the governor’s stay-at-home order and other measures, along with the inpatient, ambulatory and mobile testing efforts in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, as have flattened the curve.
The health care leaders said they “jointly support the gradual easing of some restrictions, including the opening of the beaches.”
They made three other recommendations:
- Assurance that gatherings of less than 10 people, and maintenance of six feet between persons;
- Continuation of the requirement for individuals entering our community and state from state “hot spots” to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival; and
- Continued careful attention to COVID-19 confirmed cases and hospitalization rates in our community. At the first sign of expanded transmission and/or severity of cases, we would strongly encourage you to re-evaluate the situation and take appropriate action to ensure the continued health and safety of our community.
Meanwhile the FDOH Dashboard has issues. According to the dashboard, Escambia County had three fewer cases at 6 p.m. than it did at 11 a.m. However, the long-term care facilities in the county had 36 more positive cases. A press briefing by the county and EOC would be helpful.
|11 a.m.||6 p.m.||Increase|
|Esc LTC cases||102||138||36||35.29%|
News Cases in Escambia County by Day
The Community Health mobile testing site at Attucks Court was a tremendous success – collecting specimens from over 250 people in four hours. More people were tested than any day at the drive-thru facilities at Brownsville or Ascension Sacred Heart.
Why the increase? No pre-screening or other barriers to getting tested. Can’t wait to see what the results of the specimens that were collected from a broad spectrum of our community.
Today, all testing sites have been suspended due to severe weather.
Testing Site Closures Due to Severe Weather Thursday
- Ascension Medical Group’s drive through COVID-19 testing site will be closed Thursday, April 23. Testing will resume on Friday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To date, our COVID-19 testing team has swabbed more than 4,000 people who have symptoms of the illness and identified more than 200 people who have the virus. Interested persons who want to get tested for the virus must first call a designated call center first for a phone screening. The pre-screening call center can be reached at 850-746-2684. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. through Friday.
- Community Health Northwest Florida’s drive-through and walk-up COVID-19 testing sites in Brownsville, Cantonment will be closed Thursday, April 23. The mobile testing unit will take place at Morris Court Friday, April 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Brownsville Community Center and Cantonment sites will resume operations Monday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pre-screening is required for drive-through testing. Pre-screening is not required for walk-up testing. The pre-screening call center can be reached at 850-746-2684.
Underhill: Write the other guys
Escambia County Doug Underhill sent out a mass email to voters imploring them to write his fellow commissioners to open the beaches and to write the governor to let the county manage any COVID-19 restrictions.
However, he hasn’t been kind or sympathetic to voters who have written him:
Desiree,You do not speak on behalf of anyone. You are one voice, no greater or lesser than all the other voices in the county.
Cases are not increasing daily in our county. They are now, and have always been, more or less flat at 10% positive in spite of a radical increase in testing. You have been lied to and you are spreading those lies.
You should not consider your neighbors “too dumb” because they see things differently that you. That is incredibly closed minded. Do not tell me my responsibility, since you do not carry that yoke.
I am responsible for ensuring that our community is safe, not just from a virus that has been blown out o proportion, but from the civil unrest and poverty that follows the destruction of our way of life, and the ability of families to provide for themselves.
Shame on you for your complete disregard for your neighbors and their mental and financial wellbeing.
I am embarrassed by your callous disregard for the people I represent and care about. I hope you take some time to think about them instead of just yourself.–Commissioner Underhill
For the record, the month-to-date percentage of positives as of April 21 is 9% for Escambia County, up from 6.8% a week ago. The percentage of the results received on April 21 alone was 32% positive.
More Task Forces – none from Escambia or Santa Rosa counties
Re-Open Task Force Industry Working Group on Agriculture, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Management and Professional Services are as follows:
Senator Wilton Simpson, Senate President Designate, Florida Senate
Senator Rob Bradley, Appropriations Chairman, Florida Senate
Representative Travis Cummings, Appropriations Chairman, Florida House of Representatives
Representative Tom Leek, Representative, Florida House of Representatives
Representative Anika Omphroy, Representative, Florida House of Representatives
Secretary Mary Mayhew, Secretary, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
Secretary Richard Prudom, Secretary, Florida Department of Elder Affairs
David Altmaier, Florida Insurance Commissioner
Shannon Shepp, Executive Director, Florida Department of Citrus
Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Sheriff, Brevard County
Sheriff Dennis Lemma, Sheriff, Seminole County
Commissioner Brian Hamman, Lee County Commission
John Hoblick, Florida Farm Bureau
Matt Joyner, Florida Citrus Mutual
Alan Shelby, EVP, Florida Forestry Association
Alvin Cowans, President, McCoy Federal Credit Union
Alex Sanchez, President & CEO, Florida Bankers Association
Amy Mercer, Executive Director, Florida Police Chiefs Association
Carlos Migoya, CEO, Jackson Health System
Aurelio Fernandez, President & CEO, Memorial Healthcare Systems
John Couris, President & CEO, Tampa General Hospital
Dr. Kevin Cairns, Florida Board of Medicine
Maggie Hansen, Chief Nurse Executive, Memorial Healthcare Systems
Dr. Wael Barsoum, President & CEO, Florida Cleveland Clinic
David Strong, President & CEO, Orlando Health
Dr. Sunil Desai, Senior Vice President, Orlando Health, President, Orlando Health Medical Group
Dr. Patricia Couto, Infectious Disease, Orlando Health
Dr. Rudy Liddell, Brandon Dental Care
Steve Bahmer, President & CEO, LeadingAge Florida
Melanie Brown-Woofter, President & CEO, Florida Behavioral Health Association
Members of the Re-Open Task Force Industry Working Group on Administrative, Education, Information & Technology, Manufacturing, Utilities and Wholesale are as follows:
Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Commissioner of Education
Chancellor Jacob Oliva, Chancellor of the Division of Public Schools
Dr. Michael Grego, Pinellas County Superintendent of Schools
Syd Kitson, Chairman, Board of Governors, State University System
Mayor Dean Trantalis, Mayor, City of Ft. Lauderdale
Jamal Sowell, President and CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc.
Frank DiBello, President and CEO, Space Florida
Gregory Haile, President, Broward College
John Hage, CEO, Charter Schools USA
Mimi Jankovits, Executive Director, Teach FL
Melissa Pappas, ESE Teacher, Orange County Schools
Joe York, President, AT&T Florida and Caribbean
Jim Taylor, CEO, Florida Technology Council
Bob Swindell, President and CEO, Broward Alliance
Sheriff Morris Young, Sheriff, Gadsden County
John Davis, Executive Vice President, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce
Joey D’Isernia, President, Eastern Shipbuilding
Rogan Donelly, President, Tervis
Nancy Tower, President and CEO, Tampa Electric
Eric Silagy, President and CEO, Florida Power & Light Company
Catherine Stempien, State President, Florida, Duke Energy
Marva Johnson, Group President, Charter Communications
Tom Vice, CEO, Aerion Corp
Dan Doyle Jr., CEO, DEX Imaging