Inweekly isn’t the only newspaper fighting to identify infected nursing homes

Escambia County cases in long-term care facilities continue to grow – now 43, up 4 since last night.   The LTC  cases make half of  the county’s news cases.

4/14/20 4/15/20
11 a.m. 11 a.m. Increase
Total Cases 21367 22081 714 3.34%
Florida Residents 20737 21435 698 3.37%
Non-Fla. 630 646 16 2.54%
Deaths 524 591 67 12.79%
Escambia 246 254 8 3.25%
Okaloosa 103 105 2 1.94%
Santa Rosa 115 114 -1 -0.87%
Broward 3243 3334 91 2.81%
LTC – Escambia 39 43 4 10.26%

The Miami Herald and Gannett, owner of the News Journal , are also pushing for infected nursing homes to be named.

Mary Ellen Klas and Ben Conarck of the Miami Herald report that Kristen Knapp, a spokeswoman for the Florida Health Care Association, the trade group representing most nursing homes in Florida, said “We’re recommending and encouraging [the homes] to disclose” information to relatives of residents but that it’s “the decision of the Department of Health” to release the data to the broader public.”

Just as here, Klas and Conarck write, “The health department has refused to share it — or to tell the Herald the legal justification for not doing so.”

In Broward County, families and the public learn of deaths and infections at long-term care sites from the staff at the facilities themselves. The assisted living facilities and nursing homes are issuing statements, according the Sun-Sentinel.

Five Star Senior Living, which runs a Pompano facility, has stated that the two people who died and five people who were confirmed COVID-19 positive were residents of the Court at Palm Aire, a 90-bed assisted-living center. All seven were part of the facility’s skilled nursing program, according to the statement.

To date, local nursing homes have been silent. Inweekly have reached to several for comments. County Administrator Janice Gilley is hopeful the state surgeon general will help nursing homes disclose info:”We strongly encourage nursing homes to work with the state surgeon general to publicly disclose if there have been positive COVID-19 cases in their facility in the Escambia county community.”

We expect no such help from the surgeon general.

As of last night, Broward County had 104 cases in its long-term care facilities.


TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health released updated numbers Wednesday morning about the coronavirus in the state. Here are some takeaways:

— 22,081: Total number of cases.

— 453: Increase in cases from a Tuesday night count.

— 591: Deaths of Florida residents.

— 20: Increase in deaths from a Tuesday night count.

— 3,099: Florida residents hospitalized.

— 1,222: Cases involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities.

— 43: Increase in long-term care cases from a Tuesday night count.

— 7,863: Cases in Miami-Dade County, the largest number in the state.

— 151: Increase in Miami-Dade cases from a Tuesday night count.

— 3: Counties with one case each (Gulf, Lafayette and Taylor).

— 211,244: Test results received by the Florida Department of Health.

— 10.5: Percentage of positive test results.

Source: Florida Department of Health